About Us

GEORGE A. WILLIAMS, MD, OMIC Board of Directors

This marks the 100th issue of the Ophthalmic Risk Management Digest for OMIC insureds and presents an opportunity to discuss the history, present status, and future of your medical liability insurance company. It is my great privilege and pleasure to become the eighth Chair of the Board of our remarkable company. To paraphrase Sir Isaac Newton, “We stand on the shoulders of giants.” One of those giants is Tamara Fountain, MD, my immediate predecessor, who completed 15 years of dedicated and impactful service to OMIC as a committee member, board member, executive committee member, and finally as Chair. Tamara’s wisdom, insight, and wit will be missed by the entire OMIC family.

The genesis of OMIC occurred during the medical malpractice liability crisis of the late 1980s. Many ophthalmologists were unable to obtain adequate or affordable coverage. In 1987, the American Academy of Ophthalmology under the visionary leadership of Bruce Spivey, MD, responded to this crisis by creating OMIC as an independent medical liability mutual company under the structure of a risk retention group. The founding principle was and remains that OMIC is run by ophthalmologists for ophthalmologists. This principle is the primary driver of our continuing success. No insurer knows ophthalmology better than we do.

At the time the first Digest was published in Winter 1991, OMIC covered 1,064 policyholders across 40 states with $5 million of surplus, written premium of $7 million, and total assets of $20 million. That same year, OMIC distributed a $250,000 dividend to current insureds but still required new insureds to pay a surplus contribution beyond the policy premium.

What a difference 25 years can make! Today, OMIC insures 4,692 ophthalmologists and writes insurance in all 50 states. We have surplus of $193 million and assets of $275 million. Over the past three years, OMIC has returned more than $25 million in dividends to policyholders. For 2016, premiums were cut an average of 12.8% while still paying a 20% dividend.

Today, OMIC carries an A.M. Best rating of A and consistently and substantially outperforms its peer group in frequency and severity of liability claims and payments. This financial strength provides OMIC with new opportunities to become an even more effective advocate and protector for our insureds, our profession, and most importantly, our patients.

In future editions of the Digest, I will discuss OMIC’s continuing legacy of improving patient safety through risk management. Our risk experience provides a unique perspective on how we can minimize clinical errors and improve patient care. That is more than just good business. As a company of ophthalmologists, for ophthalmologists, it is our raison d’être.


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