Policyholder Services

I practice in Virginia. Am I required to increase my limits every year?

Under Virginia Statute 8.01-581.15, the total amount recoverable for injury to, or death of, a patient in any verdict returned or judgment entered against a health care provider for services performed on or after 8/1/1999 is limited to a maximum dollar amount. This cap on damages, which is based on the date the incident occurred, was set at $2 million for services rendered between 7/1/2008 and 6/30/2012. Beginning 7/1/2012, the damage cap will increase incrementally by $50,000 each year, until it reaches $3 million for services rendered on or after 7/1/2031.

While Statute 8.01-581.15 limits the damages recoverable in a lawsuit, it does not impose a minimum limit of liability that a health care provider must carry in order to legally practice in Virginia. However, many hospitals, outpatient surgical facilities, and health care organizations will require providers, as a condition of credentialing, to increase their professional liability limits commensurately with the increasing cap on damages.

To assist our Virginia insureds, OMIC offers limits of liability comparable to the state’s damage cap. Insureds have the option to keep their policy limits unchanged or may request an increase in limits to match the current statutory cap on damages. Furthermore, they can request that their limits be adjusted annually as the cap increases.

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Consistent return of premium.

Publicly-traded insurance companies exist to make profits for shareholders while physician-owned carriers often return profits to their policyholders. Don’t underestimate this benefit; it can add up to tens of thousands of dollars over the course of your career. OMIC has one of the most generous dividend programs for ophthalmologists and has returned more than $90 Million to our members through dividends.