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What makes a good med mal partner?

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Q. Why is it important to check financial backing of your med-mal partner?

A: Medical malpractice is a highly specialist line of liability insurance associated with large value claims. As an insured it is essential to engage with an insurance company that has strong underwriting experience (thus avoiding cross-subsidisation of premiums between multiple claimants and non-claimants).

Due to the severe nature of the claims these insurance companies are also generally supported by reinsurance companies to ensure that they have the appropriate balance sheet to withstand the claims.  

Q. What percentage of medical practitioners face some type of litigation during their careers?

A: It is imperative for a practice to maintain appropriate liability insurance coverage in the event of a medical malpractice event. Whilst claims are not seen frequently, when they do arise, they are often of a severe nature. Our claims team at Genoa

Underwriting Managers will be able to guide you through these difficult times. We will assist with both HPSCA matters as well as briefing top panel attorneys (including Norton Rose Fulbright, Werksmans, Clyde & Co, Mac Roberts and Garlicke and Bousfield) to represent your interests in the event of a valid claim.

Q. If you are sued and your med mal partner has gone into liquidation what does this mean?

A: This could, amongst other things, mean that the Prudential Authority has been consulted and has suggested that the insurer be placed in liquidation. Now a legal process will commence to wind up the insurer. Insured practitioners may not receive the full claims benefit that they may have been previously entitled to.  

Q. How long has Genoa been around?

A: Established in 2005 and previously trading as Multiline Insurance Administrators, Genoa Underwriting Managers has well-established business in the attorney environment where we insure in excess of 650 law firms, including top law firms in South Africa. We have written the professional indemnity policies for business rescues including Ster Kinekor, Comair, Group 5, CNA, and Stefanutti Stocks, all of which require large levels of indemnification.

In the medical environment, we launched five years ago, taking care of the medical malpractice needs of over 7 000
medical practitioners.

Q. Who backs the Genoa Medical Malpractice product?

A: This product is underwritten by Safire Insurance Company Ltd, and further backed by reputable global reinsurers (with whom our senior directors have worked with for numerous years).

These global specialists offer the necessary balance sheet protection when claims arise.  

Q. Why is having a strong SA-based provider important?

A: Having access to a South African-based insurer is essential as they have first-hand knowledge and experience
of the local market and legislation. Further, should you as the insured be unhappy with a decision taken by the insurer, then youhave access to the ombudsman for short term insurance (OSTI).

The OSTI is essentially the ‘champion of the people’ and has the power to overturn a decision taken by the South African insurer,provided the insurer is a member of the OSTI and the dispute falls within the OSTI's jurisdiction.  

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