The Alabama Insurance Department is attempting to notify the several hundred Alabama physicians, nurse practitioners, physicians assistants, etc. who currently have policies with Doctors Insurance Reciprocal, RRG, that the company has been placed in rehabilitation and the Receiver has suspended the payment of claims for those insureds policies. Based on this information, Commissioner Bell today stated; “Due to the Rehabilitator’s suspension of payments, the likelihood of any payments of claims or future claims is uncertain. We would encourage all physicians and any other policyholders who have coverage with Doctors Insurance Reciprocal, RRG, to immediately obtain coverage. This is a critical situation and should not be ignored by RRG’s policyholders”. To further complicate matters, as RRG is not licensed in Alabama, there will be no unpaid claims or future claims paid by any state guaranty fund associations. Due to the fact the company is not licensed there are no guaranty fund protections afforded policyholders.
Commissioner Bell stated “The Department has been working vigorously the past two weeks with medical malpractice insurers in an attempt to make coverage available. The Department is also working with various groups that are considering forming an entity to assist in providing coverages. A variety of insurance options are being discussed. The Department stated that the Medical Assurance Company, Inc. of Birmingham, Alabama has expressed an interest to the Department in working with the affected policyholders. Bell stated that; “He hoped other insurers would express similar interests and that his staff was working diligently to establish various alternatives to provide coverage”.
While Alabama’s medical malpractice market has been one of the more stable markets in the United States, the Reciprocals’ going into receivership has certainly disrupted this market. Commissioner Bell also announced today that he is in the process of establishing a Medical Malpractice Task Force.