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WEST VIRGINIA CODE
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WVC 29 - 12 B- 6 §29-12B-6. Health care provider professional liability insurance programs.
(a) There is hereby established through the board of risk and insurance management optional insurance for health care providers consisting of a preferred professional liability insurance program and a high risk professional liability insurance program.

(b) Each of the programs described in subsection (a) of this section shall provide claims-made coverage for any covered act or omission resulting in injury or death arising out of medical professional liability as defined in subsection (d), section two, article seven-b, chapter fifty-five of this code.

(c) Each of the programs described in subsection (a) of this section shall offer optional prior acts coverage from and after a retroactive date established by the policy declarations. The premium for prior acts coverage may be based upon a five-year maturity schedule depending on the years of prior acts exposure, as more specifically set forth in a written rating manual approved by the board.

(d) Each of the programs described in subsection (a) of this section shall further provide an option to purchase an extended reporting endorsement or tail coverage.

(e) Each of the programs described in subsection (a) of this section shall offer limits for each health care provider in the amount of one million dollars per claim, including repeated exposure to the same event or series of events, and all derivative claims, and three million dollars in the annual aggregate. Health care providers have the option to purchase higher limits of up to two million dollars per claim, including repeated exposure to the same event or series of events, and all derivative claims, and up to four million dollars in the annual aggregate. In addition, hospitals covered by the plan shall have available limits of three million dollars per claim, including repeated exposure to the same event or series of events, and all derivative claims, and five million dollars in the annual aggregate. Installment payment plans as established in the rating manual shall be available to all participants.

(f) Each of the programs described in subsection (a) of this section shall cover any act or omission resulting in injury or death arising out of medical professional liability as defined in subsection (d), section two, article seven-b, chapter fifty-five of this code. The board shall exclude from coverage sexual acts as defined in subdivision (e), section three of this article, and shall have the authority to exclude other acts or omission from coverage.

(g) Each of the programs described in subsection (a) of this section shall apply to damages, except punitive damages, for medical professional liability as defined in subsection (d), section two, article seven-b, chapter fifty-five of this code.

(h) The board may, but is not required, to obtain excess verdict liability coverage for the programs described in subsection (a) of this section.

(i) Each of the programs shall be liable to the extent of the limits purchased by the health care provider as set forth in subsection (e) of this section. In the event that a claimant and a health care provider are willing to settle within those limits purchased by the health care provider, but the board refuses or declines to settle, and the ultimate verdict is in excess of the purchased limits, the board shall not be liable for the portion of the verdict in excess of the coverage provided in subsection (e) of this section unless the board acts in bad faith, with actual malice, in declining or refusing to settle: Provided, That if the board has in effect applicable excess verdict liability insurance, the health care provider shall not be required to prove that the board acted with actual malice in declining or refusing to settle in order to be indemnified for that portion of the verdict in excess of the limits of the purchased policy and within the limits of the excess liability coverage. Notwithstanding any provision of this code to the contrary, the board shall not be liable for any verdict in excess of the combined limit of the purchased policy and any applicable excess liability coverage unless the board acts in bad faith with actual malice.

(j) Rates for each of the programs described in subsection (a) of this section may not be excessive, inadequate or unfairly discriminatory: Provided, That the rates charged for the preferred professional liability insurance program shall not be less than the highest approved comparable base rate for a licensed carrier providing five percent of the malpractice insurance coverage in this state for the previous calendar year on file with the insurance commissioner: Provided, however, That if there is only one licensed carrier providing five percent or more of the malpractice insurance coverage in the state offering comparable coverage, the board shall have discretion to disregard the approved comparable base rate of the licensed carrier.

(k) The premiums for each of the programs described in subsection (a) of this section are subject to premium taxes imposed by article three, chapter thirty-three of this code.

(l) Nothing in this article shall be construed to preclude a health care provider from obtaining professional liability insurance coverage for claims in excess of the coverage made available by the provisions of this article.

(m) General liability coverage that may be required by a health care provider may be offered as determined by the board.

(n) The board may provide coverage for the run out of, and tail coverage for, any active policy issued pursuant to this article which is not transferred to the physician's mutual insurance company in accordance with section nine, article twenty-f, chapter thirty-three of this code. The board may permit such policy holders to finance, with interest, the tail coverage premium payments therefore, up to a maximum finance period of five years, on such terms as the board may set.

Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2014 1st Special Session
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