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Physicians Who Have Lost Their Malpractice Insurance:  Their Demographic Characteristics and the Surplus-Lines Companies That Insure Them

William B. Schwartz, MD; Daniel N. Mendelson
JAMA. 1989;262(10):1335-1341. doi:10.1001/jama.1989.03430100069031.
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The present study analyzes demographic data on 920 physicians who lost their coverage and applied to a "surplus-lines" company that insures essentially all applicants. Our analysis reveals that (1) some specialties are heavily overrepresented in the surplus-lines pool, (2) physicians aged 45 to 54 years are also overrepresented, (3) board certification is seen as frequently in the surplus-lines group as in the US physician population, and (4) the percentage of foreign medical graduates in the surplus-lines pool is virtually the same as that in the US physician population. A model of the actuarial process by which claims data can lead to termination of standard coverage suggests that disproportionate representation of high-risk specialties is not simply a function of a high average claims rate. We also show that, in contrast to joint underwriting associations, surpluslines companies impose high premiums, large deductibles, and restrictions on practice, all of which are likely to reduce the frequency of negligent behavior.

(JAMA. 1989;262:1335-1341)


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