The South Pinellas Medical Trust
The South Pinellas Medical Trust provides professional liability insurance to more than 200 professionals in southern Pinellas County, Florida. Founded during the professional liability insurance crisis in 1976, the Trust has been in continuous operation ever since 1976 and has saved member physicians millions of dollars.
In 1976, professional liability insurance in Florida was in crisis. No insurance companies were available to write this coverage for physicians, so the legislature passed a law allowing the establishment of medical malpractice trusts. The South Pinellas Medical Trust began with 65 member physicians on January 1, 1976, and quickly grew. Assets at the end of 1976 amounted to $219,000, and more than 100 physicians were members. The Trust currently has over $10 million in assets and almost 200 member physicians.
The Trust charges from 25% to 50% less than most competitors in the state, due to its unique structure and low overhead. In addition, since its’ founding in 1976 the Trust actually has refunded over $7 million more than it has assessed its’ members due to claims being less than what was charged.
The board of the Trust, consisting of 15 local physicians of varying specialties, selects physicians to be added as members to the Trust based in part on their likelihood to produce claims for the Trust. When claims arise, the board handles them in conjunction with our attorney, Troy Crotts, of the law firm Bush Ross.
The Trust’s philosophy is to settle claims quickly if they have merit and where an actual injury has occurred. In situations without basis or frivolous lawsuits, the Trust launches a vigorous defense to protect the physician’s reputation. The Trust has primarily used two attorneys since the inception of the Trust, and has prevailed in almost all of cases that have gone to trial.
Prior to Joining the Trust – Very Important
Any potential claims should be turned into your current professional liability insurance carrier so that they will be responsible for defending you and paying for that claim if necessary. This will save the Trust from having to pay for known or possible claims. Further, you will not be surcharged on your Trust premium if the other company pays the claim on your behalf, thereby potentially saving you a considerable amount of money!!!