New Medical Malpractice Market Opens for Florida Nurses

March 23, 2007

Sophia Palmer Nurses Risk Retention Group, Inc. will offer malpractice insurance to Florida nurses in partnership with the Florida Nurses Association.

The newly formed Risk Retention Group was capitalized by Ponce de Leon LTC RRG, Inc., a provider of professional liability insurance to long-term care facilities in Florida. The Uni-Ter Group of Atlanta, a subsidiary of New York-based U.S. RE Companies, an international financial services and reinsurance brokerage firm, will manage Sophia Palmer.

Named after Sophia Palmer, a founding member of the American Nurses Association, the RRG will be owned by nurses who become shareholders in the company. It was formed to meet the nursing profession’s need for malpractice insurance. The Nurse’s Service Organization reported in 2005 that Florida had the highest number of malpractice claims in the nation against nurses.

Kathi Cavallo, president of Uni-Ter Risk Management Services, said that due to increased claims activity, “many insurance carriers have pulled out of Florida, and all have gone from offering an Occurrence Policy to a Claims Made Policy.”

Sophia Palmer will offer limits of $100,000 per event up to $250,000 aggregate for a policy year, or $250,000/$750,000. Members of the Florida Nurses Association will receive a 10 percent discount.

In order to be insured by Sophia Palmer, nurses must buy stock in the company. Advanced Practice Nurses and Physicians Assistants will pay 40 percent of their first year’s premium, payable over three years, to become shareholders. All other categories of nurses will buy two shares of stock at $25 per share.

Ponce de Leon LTC RRG, Inc. was formed four years ago to provide a market for long-term care facilities that are required to have general and professional liability insurance.

Sophia Palmer offers malpractice insurance to: Medical Assistants, Certified Nursing Assistants, Licensed Practical Nurses, Registered Nurses, Advanced Practice Registered Nurses, Nurse Practitioners, Nurse Midwives, and Physicians’ Assistants. In order to qualify, Nurse Practitioners and Certified Nurse Midwives must be working under the general supervision of a physician.


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