Medical Trust Saint Petersburg, FL

The South Pinellas Medical Trust provides professional liability insurance to more than 300 physicians 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 $13 million in assets and more than 300 member physicians.

Gain control of your legal defense - The Trust has a dedicated outside counsel and a medical malpractice expert on staff.

Our Physician Board


President -- David Hall, MD -- Ophthalmology

Chairman -- Mark Gordon, MD -- Urology

Vice President -- Daniel McClenathan, MD -- Gastroenterology

Treasurer -- Pamela Patranella, MD -- Pediatrics

Secretary -- Juan Casadevalls, MD -- Internal Medicine

Past President -- Warren Abel, MD -- Pulmonology


Juan Casadevalls, MD -- Internal Medicine

Steven Cohen, MD -- Neurology

Trina Espinola, MD -- Otorhinolarygology

Carlos Labrador, MD -- Family Practice

Daniel McClenathan, MD -- Pediatric Gastroenterology

Pamela Patranella, MD -- Pediatrics

Abey Sarai, MD -- Infectious Disease

Andrea Woods, MD -- Cardiology

Michael Zimmer, MD -- Internal Medicine

Trust vs Company

The South Pinellas Medical Trust is not an insurance company and is assessable. There are many reasons, however, why member physicians should not be overly concerned about an assessment, and should value that the Trust is not operated as a company:

If we were a company, the Trust would have to make greater payments to the guaranty fund of the State of Florida. This fund bails out insurance companies with financial problems, such as those that suffered tremendous losses in the hurricane. Additionally we would be under dramatically increased regulation if we were a company. The increased accounting costs alone would increase our expenses tremendously.

The longer a physician belongs to the Trust, the less likely he or she is to be assessed. This is because we apply surpluses in past years to any deficits in later years. Here's how it works:

Each year, the actuarial firm of Madison Consulting reviews the Trust's rates to make sure they are adequate to meet anticipated claims. The actuaries take into account our low expense costs and pass these along to member physicians. Additionally, since we are not seeking a profit, we do not need to add in a profit margin.

Stock And Mutual Companies vs. Medical Trust

Insurance companies can be structured in many different ways to mitigate the cost of policyholders' claims in a way that allows for company profit. Mutual and Trust companies are owned by their policyholders and use their profits to the policyholders' advantage. Mutual companies can be for profit or non-profit. The Trust returns all profits back to its members.

Stock And Mutual Companies

The first type is called a stock company. When a stock company forms, it sells stock to stockholders to raise the money necessary to operate the business. Stockholders are not necessarily insured by the company, and insured’s do not necessarily own stock in the company. The company is in the business of selling insurance. Profits are returned as dividends to the stockholders, not the insured’s.

Stock insurance companies, and some mutual insurance companies, need to pay overheads for their staff members and want to cut benefits and costs to make profits for investors and policyholders.

Insurance companies main concern is increasing the value of stock for its stock holders.

Medical Trust

Medical Trust, although not as common as stock or mutual insurers, coverage is also provided by the medical trust. A member of a medical trust agrees to share the insurance responsibilities with all other members of the unincorporated group. In a sense, all members insure each other and share the losses with each other. A medical trust is managed by an attorney-in-fact who is empowered to handle all of the business of the trust.

Medical Trust can be comprised of individuals or organizations, and their main goal is to reduce the overall insurance costs.

Medical Trust appoints a board made up of local doctors and surgeons along with an local attorney and an onsite medical malpractice specialist.

In past years South Pinellas Medical Trust returned $Millions to its members.

Medical Trust main concern is their fellow members reputation and keeping cost low.

Where would you like to have your Medical Malpractice Insurance needs?

Insurance Philosophy Of Medical Malpractice Insurance

The basis of insurance is that people pool their resources in the event that one of the persons contributing to the fund will suffer a loss in the future. Insurance was started in the 17th century in England at a coffee house that was run by Edward Lloyd. This coffee house, later known as Lloyds of London, started by writing insurance on ships and their cargo.

Today, insurance may be provided by many different vehicles -- an insurance company, insurance mutual, a reciprocal insurer, a mutual company, or a trust. The Trust charges a premium to physicians based on three things:

  • The Physician Specialty
  • The limit of liability
  • Years of retroactive coverage desired

Additionally, member physicians may choose a form of tail coverage -- either a tail that will be provided in the event of death, disability or retirement (after 5 years at any age), or a totally pre-funded tail such that if the doctor leaves the Trust, he or she will have coverage.