1How do I know my claims will be paid/How do I know your Company has the Funds to pay a large claim or many claims?

We are the only Insurance Company in South Africa that has the financial backing of the world’s largest Re insurance company Munich Re.

Through a quota share and excess of loss agreement Munich Re effectively holds 97 % of the risk while our Underwriters Safire Insurance Company Limited holds 3% of the risk. For a limit of Indemnity of R50,000,000 in monetary terms this means that Safire is responsible for R1,500,000 per claim and Munich Re holds the R48,500,000. This partnership ensures that at all times we have the ability to meet even the most stringent claims commitments.

2Is an Occurrence Based product better than a Claims made product?

Claims made cover is not an inferior insurance product to that which is offered by an occurrence basis. If a Practitioner takes the time to understand the difference between the 22 products they will see that there are a number of similarities.

With Claims made based cover, generally speaking, a claim must be filed while a claims made policy is still in effect in order for it to be covered by the insurance carrier. As a result of this, the policy is often considerably cheaper than an occurrence policy as there isn't any automatic coverage in place once the policy has ended. The Genoa policy includes a standard Extended Reporting Period (ERP) as below and this represents the period of time in which to notify insurers of a claim or a potential claim after retirement, death, physical disability or ceasing to practice:

Years Length of standard ERP
1 36 months
2 48 months
3 60 months
4 60 months
5+ 60 months

For an additional premium and at Underwriters discretion, the Practitioner then has the option to purchase an Additional Extended Reporting Period (AERP) so as to extend the period in which to lodge claims against the policy.

Similarly with Occurrence Based cover, the incident which causes the injury/damage which ultimately gives rise to the claim must occur during the period of insurance, however the claim can be reported at any time during on/or after the Period of Insurance.

3What is different between the cover offered by Genoa Underwriting Managers and that offered by Medical Protection Society (MPS)?

Genoa Underwriting Managers is an underwriting management agency that has a fully accredited claims made based product which is re-insured by Munich Re, the world’s largest re-insurer

As a South African insurer, Genoa is regulated by both the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) and the authority of the Ombudsman for short term insurance.

By comparison, MPS is a mutual organisation that is based in the UK and who provide cover on a discretionary basis. A Mutual is essentially a pooling arrangement of premium where, because of the way that it is set up, you invariably have a cross subsidization of premiums between High, Medium and Low risk disciplines.

MPS is not governed by the rules and regulations of the insurance industry in South Africa and so in the event that an insured has a dispute with a decision taken by them, they will more than likely have to deal directly with the UK to have the issue resolved. When dealing with a local insurer your recourse would be to the FSCA and/or the Ombudsman for short term insurance.

4Am I covered for overseas work?

Like with the MPS policy, all Insureds must refer a request to be covered for work done abroad to our underwriters for their consideration.

Currently, our policy only provides cover for work done within the borders of South Africa, however we are currently in discussions to have this extended to provide cover for work done in the UK and within certain other countries around Africa. Please contact your broker for more information.

5How long is your Extended Reporting Period (ERP) and may I purchase longer cover if required?

The Genoa policy offers a maximum of 60 months Extended Reporting Period (ERP) in which t notify Underwriters of a claim or potential claim. The ERP begins to run when a practitioner either becomes permanently Disabled, Retires, dies or ceases to practice.

For Practitioners that require an ERP that is longer than 60 months (usually those Practitioners that treat children), then this is available at an additional premium at the end of the ERP. Such extension is called an Additional Extended Reporting Period (AERP).

A practitioner may choose to either fund their AERP over the lifespan of the policy or alternatively to make a lump sum payment at the end of the ERP.

Its preferable to fund the AERP over the lifespan of the policy because the full premium payment (ie the Practitioners normal premium + the amount saved to fund the AERP) is tax deductible in the year that it is paid and input VAT can be claimed on this full premium.

These funds are administered by Safire Insurance Company Limited and are in turn invested in terms of the regulated mix of funds which an Insurance Company may invest in. It is the intention that they will be used to assist a Practitioner to purchase an AERP once his/her standard ERP runs out. At all times the funds remain those of the Practitioner and he/she may choose what to do with them.

6How many doctors have you signed/how long have you been doing this for?

After taking 16 months to develop this product and to finalise the partnership with Munich Re (the largest re-insurer in the world), the product officially launched in January 2019. Since then it has received a vast amount of interest from the market with a considerable number of Practitioners joining a pool of like-minded risk conscious Practitioners.

Traditionally our underwriting criteria is very selective and we have declined a large number of Practitioners who do not meet with our select risk criteria. This is a good thing for Practitioners who are accepted into the pool because the issue of cross subsidization of premiums between High, Medium and Low risk disciplines is addressed. This in turn allows us to keep premiums stable.

7Have you ever dealt with a claim?

Our Underwriters have dealt with many liability claims over the 32 years that they have been in existence.

In the event that you have a claim, our in-house head of legal, Mrs Jacqui Smith is available 24/7 to answer any questions or concerns which you may have.

Doctor Brad Beira is our in house medico legal support channel (also available 24-7). Dr Beira brings with him a wealth of medical expertise and will be able to talk you through the process that you are likely to expect as a claim matures.

Both Jacqui and Brad are in turn supported by the powerhouse law firms of MacRobert Attorneys, Clyde & Co, Webber Wentzel, Garlicke & Bousfield, Malatji Kanyane Attorneys and Norton Rose Fulbright.

8By phoning you every time I get a complaint, will my premiums go up? OR If there is a claim against me, do my premiums go up?

Like with all insurers, an increase in premium will depend on the severity of the claim as well as if you have multiple claims during the period of insurance.

Just like any other type of insurance, the more times you claim in the year, the more likely your premiums are going to increase. This is the case with all insurers in the market (with no exception).

9What extensions does the Genoa Underwriting Policy offer?

Our policy currently offers the following extensions:

Extensions Sub-limit / Cover offered Excess
Attendance costs R50 000 R500
Breach of confidentiality R250 000 10%, min R1,500
Claims Preparation costs R25 000 R250
Criminal Defence Costs included in main LOI Same as main excess
Defamation R500 000 10%, min R1,500
Extended reporting period / Run-off cover 36 months n/a
Fidelity Guarantee R25 000 10%, min R1,500
Fines & Penalties R150 000 10%, min R1,500
Good Samaritan Acts/ Emergency First Aid included in main LOI 10%, min R1,500
Loss of Documents R50 000 R500
Mitigation of Loss R50 000 R500
Negligent advice given free of charge 10% of main LOI 10%, min R1,500
Premium holiday and emigration Only if specifically requested in writing
Products & defective workmanship liability R250 000 10%, min R1,500
Public Liability Main MedMal Limit or R5,000,000 whichever is lower 10%, min R1,500
Public relations expenses R50 000 R500
Students R25 000 R250
Wrongful arrest R250 000 10%, min R1,500
Number of Reinstatements Only if specifically requested in writing