Sunday, July 5, 2015

Warren Buffett grabs NJ medical malpractice business

Does he figure rates are ready to rise again?

Warren Buffett grabs NJ medical malpractice business

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Medical Liability Mutual Insurance Company, New York, says it's agreed to buy Princeton Insurance Co., Princeton, NJ, which controls 30% of the New Jersey medical malpractice insurance market, to Medical Protective Company (MedPro), an Indiana-based subsidiary of billionaire investor Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway, for an undisclosed sum.

Buffett's company said it plans to boost Princeton's financial strength so it can gain an investment-grade rating by insurance credit agency A.M. Best "and be positioned to offer additional products and services to healthcare providers throughout the region." The company claims $140 million in yearly premiums and a statutory surplus of $400 million.

Said Buffett in this statement: “We’ve been absolutely delighted with our acquisition of MedPro in 2005, and look forward to MedPro completing additional ‘add-on’ transactions with companies like Princeton" that need "stable" financial support "in a very unstable and changing healthcare liability landscape.”

No comment from MedPro on what will happen to rates, or whether the new owner will be cutting or adding to Princeton's 100 current employees.

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PhillyDeals posts drafts, transcripts and updates of Joseph N. DiStefano's columns and stories about Philly-area business, which he's been writing since 1989.

DiStefano studied economics, history and a little engineering at Penn and taught writing at St. Joseph's. He has written thousands of columns and articles for the Inquirer, Bloomberg and other media, wrote the book Comcasted, and raised six children with his wife, who is a saint.

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Reach Joseph N. at JoeD@phillynews.com or 215 854 5194.

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