Physicians Reimbursement Fund, Inc., A Risk Retention Group (PRF) is not your conventional professional liability insurance provider. We provide our policyholders with the same coverage and security one would expect from a larger, more traditional carrier - but we do so with a personal touch. What sets PRF apart from other carriers is our commitment to providing our policyholders with a personal, dependable, quality insurance product at the lowest possible premium.
PRF was founded in 1976 to provide needed, affordable professional liability coverage to physicians and allied health care professionals so they could continue to provide their patients with excellent healthcare. The Board of Directors, the members of the various committees, and the PRF staff believe in the company, its values, and the ideal of providing affordable insurance so our policyholders will have the financial security and flexibility to focus on the practice of medicine. PRF is owned entirely by its policyholders and exists to serve them - not outside investors or owners.
The risk of being sued for professional malpractice is one that all health care providers face. We work proactively with our policyholders to achieve the best possible patient outcome when medical complications occur. However, if those efforts are not successful and the policyholder is sued, our knowledgeable staff and experienced defense attorneys will guide the policyholder through the legal process.
In the 1970s, Californians were facing a health care crisis directly related to the frequency of medical injury claims and the soaring cost of malpractice jury awards. As early as 1972, insurance carriers were paying claims in excess of $150 for each $100 collected in premiums. Operating costs increased the loss/premium ratio to $180 paid out for each $100 of premiums collected. The result was a destabilized medical liability insurance market. To many California physicians, medical malpractice insurance coverage became either unavailable or cost prohibitive. Physicians were faced with the choice of 1) retiring from practice; 2) moving to a state where they could afford to pay the premiums; or 3) “going bare” and treating patients without having insurance coverage.
Some San Francisco physicians practicing at California Pacific Medical Center (CPMC) (formerly Children’s Hospital and Presbyterian Hospital) determined that none of these choices were acceptable. They came up with a fourth choice—to start their own offshore captive insurance company. There were several advantages to the offshore captive, i.e., less capitalization than traditional insurance companies, fewer regulatory constraints, and quick establishment.
In 1975, Physicians Reimbursement Fund, Ltd., (PRF, Ltd.) was organized to provide professional liability insurance coverage to 70 San Francisco physicians. The first premiums were written in May of 1976.
The founding principles of PRF, Ltd., were to:
a) Eliminate the overhead expenses inherent in commercial insurance coverage;
b) Implement a philosophy in risk and claims management, which involved early
identification and resolution of patient problems before they turned into lawsuits;
c) Retain for the owner-physicians the benefit of these efficiencies in the form of stable, below market insurance premiums, and;
d) Offer occurrence based coverage (not claims made) thereby allowing its policyholders an increased sense of security and freedom in terms of their individual choice of practice.
In over 40 years of successful operation, PRF has evolved to fill the changing needs of its policyholders. The limits of coverage have evolved from $150,000 per occurrence / $450,000 aggregate per policy period to the current $1,000,000 per occurrence / $3,000,000 aggregate per policy period. The organizational structure of the Company has changed from an offshore captive to an onshore risk retention group domiciled in the State of Vermont. Through the years and the changes, PRF has remained loyal to its founding principles.