NAVIGATION

June 27, 2017

Insurance

New Model for MedMal

Cynthia Barnett | 11/1/2010

Butler Ball
"We think there is room in the market. Our unique distribution model allows us to be extremely competitive on pricing."

— Butler Ball, CEO,
MedMal Direct Insurance

Four Jacksonville insurance veterans launched a new model for medical-liability insurance that sells directly to doctors in an effort to reduce costs. Carter Bryan, whose family launched Independent Life Insurance Co. in the 1920s, chairs MedMal Direct Insurance. CEO Butler Ball talks about the venture:

FLORIDA TREND: Your president, Timothy Bone, and CFO, Michael Wallace, co-founded Physicians Preferred, since acquired by Jacksonville-based Florida Doctors Insurance Co., now the state's fourth-largest medical-liability company. How does an upstart compete in the back yard of the largest medical-malpractice insurers in the state, including Florida Doctors and FPIC?

BUTLER BALL: Last year, over 30,000 doctors purchased malpractice insurance in the state, and much of the market is fragmented. There are, in fact, only four Florida domestic stock insurance companies in the state, and we were the first one to be admitted since 2005. We think there is room in the market. Our unique distribution model allows us to be extremely competitive on pricing.

FT: Some of your competitors say agents are important advocates for doctors who can negotiate prices and contracts and keep an eye out for poorly capitalized companies. What is your response?

BB: We have nothing against agents. There are some very fine agencies around the state. I will be the first to tell you that there are cases in which an agent provides valuable services to a physician practice. That being said, we thought there should exist an option for the physicians and practice managers who would prefer to save money by buying directly from the company without having to compensate a broker, both directly through commissions and indirectly through the cost that the carrier incurs by supporting a group of independent agencies. As to the capitalization levels of insurance companies in the state, the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation oversees the industry and very strictly regulates the surplus capital of each company. The requirements and oversight of stock companies are even more stringent than other types of insurance companies. That's why we chose to form a stock company.

FT: How is the market responding?

BB: Even better than we expected. We are tracking to have a very successful first year. I think that the tough economy, the reduction in reimbursements and the uncertainty surrounding the healthcare reform are all contributing positively to our model.

Tags: Northeast

Digital Access

DIRECT DIGITAL ACCESS
Add digital to your current subscription, purchase a single digital issue, or start a new subscription to Florida Trend.

TABLE OF CONTENTS
An overview of the features and articles in this month's issue of Florida Trend.

ACCESS THIS ISSUE »

Florida Business News

Florida Trend Video Pick

Tour Aventura, the 3rd Largest Mall in the US
Tour Aventura, the 3rd Largest Mall in the US

Generally considered to be the biggest  and best indoor shopping mall in South Florida, Aventura's more than 300 stores has something for the luxury shopper and the mid-range shopper alike. 

Earlier Videos | Viewpoints@FloridaTrend

Ballot Box

Gov. Scott vetoed reimbursing homeowners whose healthy citrus trees were torn down by the state. Now it's up to Florida's Supreme Court. Which side do you agree with?

  • No reimbursement - Gov. Scott's veto should stand
  • Supreme Court should undo veto, allow homeowners to collect on judgments won against state

See Results

Ballot Box
Subscribe