Gov. Bob Wise announced that West Virginia Physicians’ Mutual Insurance Co. has received a Certificate of Authority from the offices of the Insurance Commissioner, allowing it to begin operations as an insurer of West Virginia doctors.
All physicians currently insured under the BRIM II program established in December 2001 will move to the Mutual on July 1, 2004. Currently, there are about 1,450 West Virginia physicians in the BRIM plan.
“Last year, I asked the Legislature to enact sweeping reforms to address the medical malpractice crisis.” Wise said. “The Legislature responded, and, today, a West Virginia doctor-owned insurance company is a reality. The formation of the Physicians’ Mutual is a major step toward stabilizing the health care delivery system in our state.”
The legislation provided for a $24 million loan to the Physicians’ Mutual Insurance Company from the tobacco settlement fund. This – combined with assessments on practicing physicians and insurance companies licensed in West Virginia – will provide the initial capitalization of the company.
“I believe the establishment of the West Virginia Physicians’ Mutual will help us achieve our goal of having an available, affordable and stable medical liability insurance climate in West Virginia,” said Insurance Commissioner Jane Cline. “The creation of the Physicians’ Mutual is the result of a tremendous effort by many organizations and individuals. The Insurance Commission staff worked diligently alongside Gov. Bob Wise, members of the Legislature, BRIM staff, the Mutual’s board of directors and many others to reach this milestone.”
David Rader is president and CEO of the West Virginia Physicians’ Mutual Insurance Co. Rader has been in his present position with the company since April 2004, and an executive in the insurance industry since 1980. Dr. Robert Ghiz, chairman of West Virginia Physicians’ Mutual Insurance Company board of directors, is a Charleston physician.
“On behalf of the board of directors and the physicians insured by the Mutual, I thank the many people who recognized the problems physicians face with medical liability insurance and for the energy they expended to find a solution,” Ghiz said. “We will do everything in our power to ensure the faith they have shown in the Mutual is well placed.”
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