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People's Insurance Counsel Division - Medical Professionals

In Maryland, insurance agents or producers and insurance companies, including the Medical Mutual Liability Insurance Society of Maryland, are regulated by the Maryland Insurance Administration (MIA). The Insurance Commissioner is required to enforce the insurance laws passed by the Maryland General Assembly. By law, all insurance companies are required to file their rates and policy forms with the MIA and other laws regulate insurance claim settlements, non-renewal or cancelation of a policy and insurance premium, including deductibles. If you have a problem with your insurance company or agent, you can file a complaint with the MIA and an investigator will determine whether your insurance company violated Maryland’s insurance laws. Violations are not found in most complaint matters and the law gives the complainant the opportunity to request an administrative hearing after receiving the investigator’s letter finding that there was no violation.

Frequently Asked Questions About Medical Professional Liability Insurance

  1. Does Maryland require physicians and other medical professionals to have medical professional liability insurance?
  2. Are insurance companies writing medical professional liability insurance required to issue a policy to an applicant?
  3. Does Maryland regulate insurance companies providing medical professional liability insurance?
  4. How can I find out the insurance companies writing medical professional liability insurance in Maryland?
  5. Will policyholders receive notice of rate increases?
  6. Are medical professional liability rates, rules and forms reviewed before they go into effect?
  7. What deductibles are available for medical professional liability policies?
  8. Will policyholders receive notice of cancellation or non renewal of coverage?
  9. If I am dissatisfied with an action taken by my insurance company, who can review the matter?
  10. Will the People’s Insurance Counsel Division be involved in my complaint?

1. Does Maryland require physicians and other medical professionals to have medical professional liability insurance?

No, the laws on the licensing of physicians, physician assistants, nurses and other medical professionals do not require the purchase of medical professional liability insurance.


2. Are insurance companies writing medical professional liability insurance required to issue a policy to an applicant?

No, the insurance companies must apply their underwriting rules to each applicant to determine eligibility for coverage. If an applicant is not eligible for coverage, the company will not issue a policy. Eligibility is also reviewed by the insurer before a renewal policy is offered to a current policyholder.


3. Does Maryland regulate insurance companies providing medical professional liability insurance?

Yes, Maryland law requires the Maryland Insurance Administration (MIA) to review and approve the policy forms, rating rules and rates for all insurance companies that issue medical professional liability insurance. Additionally, the MIA conducts financial reviews and examinations of all insurance companies doing business in the state. Policyholders with complaints about their insurance company or producer (agent) may file a complaint with the MIA. (See Question 9 for a full explanation.)


4. How can I find out the insurance companies writing medical professional liability insurance in Maryland?

The Maryland Insurance Administration has available on its website a brochure titled, “Comparison Guide to Maryland Medical Professional Liability Insurance Rates” that includes, in the last few pages, a list of insurers and contact information. This brochure is updated about once a year. The website is www.mdinsurance.state.md.us. Look for Consumer Publications using the “Consumer” tab. The Comparison Guide is found with the publications available by selecting “Insurance For Businesses and Professionals”.


5. Will policyholders receive notice of rate increases?

Yes, medical professional liability insurers that file proposed rate increases with MIA must notify each policyholder in writing that a proposed rate increase has been submitted to the MIA, that a hearing can be requested on the rate increase, and that the Insurance Commissioner’s order or refusal to hold a hearing can be appealed to court.

6. Are medical professional liability rates, rules and forms reviewed before they go into effect?

Yes, under Maryland law, the MIA must review and approve the medical professional liability filings before they can go into effect. The People’s Insurance Counsel Division reviews these filings and uses actuarial consultants to evaluate the proposed changes. These filings must comply with Maryland laws on rate filings stating that rates may not be excessive, inadequate or unfairly discriminatory.

7. What deductibles are available for medical professional liability policies?

Maryland law requires insurers to offer policies with deductibles of $25,000, $50,000 and $100,000.


8. Will policyholders receive notice of cancellation or non renewal of coverage?

Yes, Maryland law provides that an insurer provide policyholders with written notice of the decision to cancel or non renewal a policy at least 45 days before the proposed cancelation date or the date that the current policy expires. If the reason for cancelation is failure to pay the premium, the insurance company must provide written notice at least 10 days before the proposed cancelation date.

9. If I am dissatisfied with an action taken by my insurance company, who can review the matter?

The Maryland Insurance Administration (MIA) will investigate complaints against an insurance company or a producer (agent) to determine whether Maryland law has been violated. All relevant documents and information should be provided to the MIA at the time the complaint is submitted. At the conclusion of the investigation, the consumer will receive a letter from MIA. To begin the complaint process, consumers can:

File an On-line complaint at the MIA website: www.mdinsurance.state.md.us (Use the Consumer Tab to find “File a Complaint” in the menu on the left.) It is important that any documentation relating to the complaint be provided to the MIA. Following submission of the online form, send any documents by mail to the MIA: Maryland Insurance Administration, Property and Casualty Complaint Unit, 200 St. Paul Place, Baltimore, MD 21202.

Print a Complaint form that you can mail to MIA. Click HERE to access the form from the MIA website.
After receiving a complaint, MIA assigns an investigator. Consumers should expect the complaint process to take several weeks. Complex matters may take longer. MIA will consider the information and documents provided by the consumer and the insurer to determine whether the actions or inactions of the insurance company or its representative violated the Maryland insurance laws. Click HERE to learn more about the MIA complaint process.

10. Will the People’s Insurance Counsel Division be involved in my complaint?

The Division cannot provide legal representation for individual medical professionals who have a complaint against their insurer or producer. We can discuss the matter with the policyholder and answer questions about the complaint process and the administrative hearing that consumers may request if there is an unfavorable decision on the complaint. For a full explanation of the administrative hearing process, click HERE.


Maryland Attorney General’s Office
People’s Insurance Counsel Division
200 St. Paul Street
Baltimore, Maryland, 21202
410-576-6432
1 (888) 743-0023
email: PIC@oag.state.md.us

 

Attorney General of Maryland 1 (888) 743-0023 toll-free / TDD: (410) 576-6372
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