Despite trends like physician integration and the decrease of general practitioners in the US, healthcare remains a growing industry. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates the industry will yield 2.3 million new jobs between 2008 and 2018.
As such, insurance agents and brokers shouldn’t restrict their medical malpractice marketing to traditional care centers. A growing array of new business classes operating under the healthcare umbrella provides ample opportunity for enterprising independents, says Brad Rosgen, Healthcare Practice Leader for Burns & Wilcox.
“A lot of agents that specialized in small practice doctors will need to find different ways of keeping their doors open,” Rosgen says. “That means expanding to things they may not have worked on in the past, including home healthcare or outpatient services.”
Home healthcare is indeed a rising enterprise—one that is expected to grow 40% over the next decade as baby boomers age and prefer services within the comfort of their own home. However, agents should be sensitive to some of the challenges within this industry.
Rosgen notes that due to loose underwriting guidelines, some carriers have withdrawn from the market, feeling rates were too low to support potential loss. Advising clients on this type of account means shopping around and providing the kind of value-added services that other accounts may not require.
Hospice is another potential growth market. Particularly inviting to agents looking to get their feet wet in the medical malpractice market, hospice offers low risks and less underwriting complication.
“It’s not something a lot of people think to go after,” Rosgen says. “It’s a fantastic business to write from a risk standpoint and carriers typically provide rates that are aggressive, but fair.”
Other growing enterprises of note include telemedicine, anesthesiology, nursing homes and assisted living. Investing in any one of these will pay off for medical malpractice brokers as the healthcare industry continues to grow and specialize.
“[Medical professional liability] is definitely an area of growth. Competitive as it is, it is still a high growth industry and will continue to be as the population grows,” Rosgen says. “If you’re not already, it’s definitely an area to get into if you want to keep pace with the general rate of the economy and have something new or fun to talk about every time you visit a client.”