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What We Learned at PLUS Medical 2024

June 11th, 2024 | 5 min. read

By Jason Esparza

PLUS Healthcare & Medical Professional Liability logo, edited to include Ethos' blog title

Many agents aren't able to attend the PLUS Medical Symposium. The PLUS Medical Symposium (or PLUS Medical) is an annual opportunity to connect with hundreds of other professionals in the healthcare professional liability (HPL) space and get a feel for where the industry is going in the future. Overall, we held over 20 meetings with underwriters, management, and business development staff to see what trends we could identify and to help manage our expectations about the future of the HPL marketplace. While there is too much information at PLUS to succinctly summarize in a single blog article, we have put together several highlights that should be of interest to retail agents. These highlights include not just how carriers are reacting to claims and expanding market segments, but new opportunities popping up for retail agents to talk to their customers pertaining to lines of coverage they previously weren’t interested in.

Here are a few takeaways from our meetings:

1) An Update on HPL Claims Development

We heard from multiple markets that overall claims severity for this sector is up while claims frequency remains depressed. This has been a trend for the last four years, in large part to the Covid pandemic. Carriers expect claims frequency to rise as both courts continue to open and clear their dockets, and plaintiffs' attorneys seek more litigation due to the increase in severity. All carriers have data on current claims trends, but their responses to the data will vary. Some are shifting their focus based on the speculation of increased claims activity and looking to avoid classes with severity potential altogether while others are looking to stay firm in their underwriting strategy and believe they can write troubled classes profitably with the right terms and pricing. Claims development always drives underwriting guidelines, but the current climate sets up for the possibility of faster than usual changes in the next few years. 


2) Insured’s Interest for Excess Coverage is on the Rise

Related to point number one, multiple carriers stressed that they are receiving an unusually high number of applicants looking for excess coverage. In a couple cases, it was shared that excess submissions are up over 15x of what they have seen historically. The underwriters who shared this information with us speculate that it is a result of insureds noticing the headlines of severe cases and awards granted from juries and starting to realize how much they could be liable for in the event of a significant loss. For HPL focused agents, your clients may be more receptive than before to have discussions regarding excess coverage, especially if there have been claims events they have witnessed occurring in their industry, specialty, geographic area, with their colleagues, etc. 


3) Carrier Appetite for Applied Behavior Analysis is Increasing

We were surprised to hear how many carriers were interested in highlighting their appetite for applied behavior analysis (ABA) therapy for autism, including youth. In multiple cases, carriers that are not interested in any other youth exposure are highlighting their ability to write ABA therapy. We have seen a growth in treatment options for people living with autism, and the market is responding due to an increase in opportunities that have been submitted to them. 


Want to Hear More?

These are only a few of the high-level insights we took away from PLUS Medical this year. As stated previously, there is no way for us to succinctly cover all the information we gathered through all our meetings at this year’s PLUS. To make sure that you’re up to date with all the latest from PLUS, we would like to offer you and your team the following:


  1. If you have questions regarding other specifics from the conference, we would be more than happy to share them with you. Feel free to write to Jason Esparza, VP of business development with your questions or set up a time to cover your specific interests.
  2. If you would like your team to be involved, we would also like to offer to host a webinar on what he learned with your team. You can set that up by emailing Jason Esparza, VP of business development, or setting up a time on his calendar to talk. 

Jason Esparza

Since starting in the insurance industry in 2000, Jason has held diverse roles, including underwriting, agent support, and business development. As Ethos' VP of Business Development since September 2020, he focuses on growth and innovative solutions. Jason, equipped with a BA, MBA, and MDiv, excels in bridging communication gaps between agents and carriers, ensuring customer needs align with underwriting requirements. Committed to transparency, he fosters open communication at Ethos. Outside of work, Jason, a family man and endurance sports enthusiast, brings a competitive spirit, having won multiple swing dancing national championships and completed three Ironman triathlons. Dedicated to Ethos' mission, Jason aims to leverage his experience, transparency commitment, and results-oriented focus to position Ethos as a pioneering force in the insurance industry.