Risk Management

Protect Your Practice From Catastrophic Events

Some estimate insurance losses from Hurricane Harvey may the worst in history. With insured losses from the devastating hurricanes Sandy and Irene and the Joplin, MO tornados topping $40 Billion this may be a good time to do an insurance “double-check” to make sure you’re adequately covered in case of major damage or destruction of your practice. See below for list of worst U.S. disasters (by insurance loss).

You may be surprised to learn that several OMIC policyholders have reported partial or total loss of practice as a result of natural disasters, including several of the events listed below. Do the following to prepare your practice for such an event:

1. Inventory and photograph all practice property and possessions. Also have all important phone numbers, insurance policy numbers, staff emergency numbers, etc. stored securely in multiple locations for access during periods without cellular coverage or electricity.

2. Develop an evacuation plan. See here for the OSHA sample plan and template.

3. Review insurance policies and create an emergency cash fund off site to deal with potential immediate needs.

4. Plan for self sufficiency including basic supplies during immediate aftermath. (Here is an example of the 72 hours earthquake program which may apply to other natural disasters or terrorist incidents)

After natural disasters or terrorist incidents, many OMIC insureds have volunteered their services to assist in recovery and treatment of victims. OMIC will generally cover “good samaritan” activities performed to prevent or stabilize a patient’s medical condition and often local laws will shield physicians from liability in these circumstances. Follow these tips if participating in such disaster assistance.

Most insurance policies could be called upon to cover natural disaster liabilities, including but not limited to professional liability (your OMIC policy) if you render assistance as described above, business owners for property loss and costs associated with the interruption of your practice activities, and even disability, office overhead expenses, workers compensation or other policies designed to respond to injury to you or your staff. Basically, you should plan for a variety of situations that might occur after such a disaster.

You should discuss with your agent, broker, or call OMIC at (800) 562-6642, ext 654 for help or contacts for the various insurance policies that you may want to have in place.

Top 5 Historic U.S. Natural Catastrophies (in Current Dollars)


1. San Francisco (1906)  $31 Billion

2. Northridge (L.A.) (1994)  $19 Billion

3. Prince William Sound Alaska (1964)  $4.4 Billion

4. San Fernando (1971)  $3 Billion

5. Loma Preieta (San Francisco) (1989)  $2 Billion


1. Katrina (Louisiana) (2005)  $45 Billion

2. Andrew (Florida) (2005)  $25.6 Billion

3. Sandy (New Jersey) (2012) $18.8 Billion

4. Wilma (Florida) (2005) $11.4 Billion

5. Great New England (1938)  $10.7 Billion


1. Northern Georgia (1973)  $5.4 Billion

2. Joplin, Missouri (2011) $3.3 Billion (est)

3. Topeka, Kansas (1966) $2 Billion

4. Lubbock, Texas (1970)  $1.5 Billion

5. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma (1999)  $1.3 Billion


1. Oakland Hills Fire, Oakland (1991)  $3 Billion

2. Witch Fire, Southern Cal (2007)  $1.3 Billion

3. Cedar Fire, Southern Cal (2003)  $1.3 Billion

4. Old Fire, Southern Cal (2003)  $1.2 Billion

5. Malibu-Topanga Fire (1993)  $600 Million

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Six reasons OMIC is the best choice for ophthalmologists in America.

#6. Supporting your specialty.

OMIC was founded by members of the American Academy of Ophthalmology nearly a quarter century ago and is the only carrier sponsored and endorsed by AAO. OMIC is also endorsed by 40 other ophthalmic societies. The OMIC partnerships with state and subspecialty societies qualifies their members for an exclusive 8% premium credit. Contact your state society for details.