Despite Premium Decreases, Medical Professional Liability Industry Profitable in 2009, According to SNL Financial

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SNL now has statutory insurance rankings for medical professional liability writers based on 2009 direct premiums written.

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Favorable loss cost trends, tort reform and higher rates in prior years have led to the extraordinary results for these insurers

According to SNL Financial, the medical professional liability industry experienced a profitable year in underwriting, demonstrated by a combined ratio of 82.6% in 2009. However, the industry continued to endure declines in direct premiums written, which fell 3.7% to $10.8 billion, compared to $11.2 billion in 2008.

Small declines in premiums for most top writers led to little change in the top 20 rankings compared to last year. Once again, Medical Liability Mutual Insurance Co. took the top spot with $756.8 million direct premiums written, followed by Berkshire Hathaway Inc. and The Doctors Co.

One of the few movements included ProAssurance Corp. and American International Group Inc. swapping spots. AIG dropped to fifth place due to its 13.8% annual premium decrease. Allied World Assurance Co. Holdings Ltd. rose to the No. 17 spot with direct premiums written increasing 18% to $150.9 million.

Despite the decrease in premiums, the top 20 writers managed to post a combined ratio of 81.3%, with only three of the top 20 companies experiencing a net combined ratio greater than 100%.

“Favorable loss cost trends, tort reform and higher rates in prior years have led to the extraordinary results for these insurers,” said Jon Wright, Director of Insurance at SNL. “However, soft market conditions are also evident in premium declines and companies booking higher accident year loss reserves.”

SNL ranked the insurers based on their 2009 NAIC statutory P&C statement filings. SNL calculates medical professional liability direct premiums written by summing the claims made and occurrence premiums, which are as-reported lines of business in the NAIC quarterly statements. The rankings are limited to U.S. filers only.

This data is available as part of the SNL Information Service. To find out more, contact sales(at)snl(dot)com or 866.296.3743.

About SNL Financial
SNL Financial is a leading provider of financial information on more than 3,300 public companies and 50,000 private companies in the business sectors critical to the global economy: Banking, Financial Services, Insurance, Real Estate, Energy and Media & Communications. The SNL information service integrates breaking news, comprehensive data and expert analysis into an electronic database available online and updated around the clock. For more information, visit

Visit the SNL Press Room to learn more about resources available to members of the media.

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Monica Jenkins
Press Relations Manager

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