June 23, 2024

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Evolving regulatory demands drive creation of healthcare liability practice

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Evolving regulatory demands drive creation of healthcare liability practice | Insurance Business America















How one insurer is addressing the complex risk landscape

Evolving regulatory demands drive creation of healthcare liability practice

Life & Health

By
Gia Snape

Liability risks in the healthcare sector have evolved significantly since the COVID-19 pandemic, shaped by rapidly changing regulatory demands, social inflation, and emerging trends like telemedicine and digital health.

The complex and ever-changing landscape of risks has prompted QBE North America to launch a dedicated healthcare liability practice.

John Livatino (pictured), senior vice president and head of healthcare liability at QBE North America, said the initiative was driven by a desire to expand the insurer’s footprint in specialty insurance and address a gap in the healthcare market.

“It can be a tricky space, and it was one we felt we could bring our expertise to,” said Livatino. “We knew the market needed a product that focused on solutions for complex risks.”

What are the biggest liability exposures for healthcare providers?

Livatino spoke to Insurance Business about some of the most pressing concerns in the healthcare liability space and how QBE North America plans to help insureds combat them.

“Social inflation is an issue we need to combat for our insureds. To address this, we offer a claims team providing aggressive defense to help with social inflation,” said Livatino.

“Emerging risks like telemedicine and digital health also have unique exposures and require specific coverages. We’ve developed our product to address these needs, hiring an expert underwriter to guide this section of our policy.

“Other areas of a changing landscape include worker shortages and burnout, which are significant issues. Emerging liabilities and changing laws, especially in reproductive health, present uncertainties. These include not just abortion but also contraception, fertility risks, and patient transportation for procedures.”

Aside from these, Livatino also named evolving privacy laws, with new actions related to biometric information and website tracking, as well as private equity investment as influencing the healthcare sector. Consolidation among hospitals and physician groups is growing, with miscellaneous medical and allied health areas becoming a bigger part of the industry.

The pandemic also spotlighted the importance of preparedness and resilience among health organizations.

“We saw COVID and the impact that a pandemic can have on healthcare and the preparedness that’s required for insurance for realistic disaster scenarios,” Livatino said.

For brokers and insurers navigating this complex landscape, thorough presentation and understanding of risks are crucial. Meetings between insureds and underwriters, including the claims team, are highly beneficial in understanding and addressing these risks.

“Broker presentation of the risk is very important,” advised Livatino. “We really want to hear from the insured what their story is.”

Transparency is key in this partnership, Livatino stressed, especially when certain risks are deemed uninsurable.

“We are hyper-focused on partnership-driven solutions,” he said. “There needs to be transparency. I think there’s a need in the market for a company that is not reactionary to emerging risks.”

Regulatory challenges in healthcare are fast-paced and complex. QBE addresses these by ensuring its  team stays well-informed and engages in continuous dialogue with clients and brokers. This proactive approach helps tailor coverage to meet regulatory requirements effectively.

“It’s important that your insurance company, your underwriters keep pace with the news as it’s happening,” Livatino said.

QBE is also developing a loss control feature to provide additional support for insureds. While still in the early stages, this initiative aims to offer surveys, risk assessments, and dedicated resources for risk management.

“Having a resource for our insureds that’s not necessarily underwriting or claims is an important feature to have,” Livatino told Insurance Business.

Do you have anything to say about QBE North America’s dedicated healthcare liability practice? Please share your thoughts in the comments.

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