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Florida Report Gives Docs Idea of Which Insurers Settle or Fight Malpractice Claims


Florida Report Gives Docs Idea of Which Insurers Settle or Fight Malpractice Claims

Schrier Law Group will be the first to tell you, that when it comes to litigation, it is important to know which entities tend to settle and which tend to fight tooth and nail when it comes to medical malpractice (or any legal lawsuit). And while we fight for our clients the same way, either way, it is good to know what companies tend to do.

Florida’s Office of Insurance Regulation has put out an annual report (for 20 years now) on the condition of the medical malpractice insurance market that provides an inside look at insurers regarding strength, claims responses, and more. The 2020 report, which focuses on the top 20 medical malpractice companies in the state, is especially useful when trying to find out which insurance carriers litigate claims versus how many close their cases with payments.

“What we find most useful is the closed claims data chart, which lets us understand each company’s claims philosophy,” said Matt Gracey, CEO and medical malpractice insurance specialist at Danna-Gracey, the largest independent medical malpractice insurance agency in Florida. “Are they going to fight a claim that’s defensible, or settle everything they can to avoid a big shock loss?”
“Some insurers take the position that it’s a lot better to settle cases because the doctor and the insurance company aren’t exposed if they can get the doctor out for limits of liability or less,” he continued, adding that claims totaling more than $10 million are becoming more frequent. “Others believe in fighting anything that’s defensible, which is what most doctors want so as not to blemish or ruin their reputations.”
The data reflects a company’s confidence in its in-house claims managers, who decide which claims to settle and which to push back on, as well as the outside attorneys they hire. The 2020 report is an interesting mix, with some companies settling numerous cases and others holding the line.
The top two medical malpractice insurers in Florida, The Doctors Company and MedPro, for example, settled 58.4% and 40.1% of their claims with payments; whereas ProAssurance settled 81.5%, MedMal Direct settled 88.6%, and Physicians Insurance Company settled 93% with payments.
The report also reflects a recent change by the Florida Legislature to a longstanding law that kept insurance companies from offering malpractice insurance that allowed doctors to choose whether to consent to a settlement.
“Before, if a doctor was sued and wanted to settle, the insurance companies could still decide to fight the suit. The doctor wasn’t allowed by law to have any voice in the decision,” said Gracey. “Now, if an insurance company wants to give a doctor a say in settling, they can.
According to Gracey, it can be problematic when an insurance company gets a reputation for settling cases.

Call Schrier Law Group Today

The Schrier Law Group handles many medical malpractice cases. Schrier Law has the resources necessary to help you and your family score a successful outcome in your case. It is important that you have your rights defended by someone who knows the law. Contact the Schrier Law Group for a personal injury attorney in Florida today!