R. Austin Wallace, MD
Chairman, President and CEO

Letter from the ChairmanWinter 2017


The West Virginia Mutual Insurance Company initially applied for a rating by the A. M. Best Company, recognized nationally and internationally as the preeminent insurance rating agency, in mid-2011. This culminated with the Mutual being rated A – (Excellent) in our initial rating in December of that year. Subsequently, we have retained this very high rating every year after Best’s annual reviews, and this year is no exception. We again were rated A – (Excellent) in April of this year, reaffirming our company’s exceptional financial strength and operations. The review team at Best stated that “…the ratings reflect West Virginia Mutual Insurance Company’s (WVMIC) excellent risk – adjusted capitalization, historically favorable operating performance… and strong market position in West Virginia as the leading writer of medical professional liability (MPL) insurance in the state… The company benefits from its strong ties to the healthcare community with its focus on education, risk management, and service to its member insureds.”

There are companies doing business in our state that are not nearly as financially stable and strong. If a physician is considering such a company, it is always wise to ask the agent about its balance sheet. Buyer beware: if the premium seems too good to be true, then that is almost certainly the case. If an insurance company does not have sufficient financial strength to meet its obligations, as has happened in the past with PIE and ICA in our state, then as long as the company has contributed to the state guaranty fund, the former insureds would have access to up to $300,000 per claim. Obviously, in a medical liability lawsuit, that amount often does not go very far, so the former insured would have his or her personal assets in peril and at significant risk. This is not just a theoretical consideration– it has happened in our state in the past with dire consequences. Rest assured that the West Virginia Mutual Insurance Company will provide medical liability insurance to our policy-holders at the lowest premium that is feasible and reasonable. We retain our intense physician focus, as we continue to be Physicians Insuring Physicians.

R. Austin Wallace, M.D.