Medical Protective is an American liability insurance company for physicians and dentists. Medical Protective traces its roots back to a predecessor company, the Physicians’ Guarantee Company. Alpheus P. Buchman, MD and Miles F. Porter, MD, both of Fort Wayne, Indiana, formed the Physicians' Guarantee Company in 1899 to provide pre-paid legal defense services for medical malpractice lawsuits. The company is considered one of the first companies to offer pre-paid legal defense services in the United States. In 1902, Physicians’ Guarantee Company changed its name to the Physicians’ Defense Company. In 1907, Byron H. Somers and Charles M. Niezer left the Physicians Defense Company and founded The Medical Protective Company and in 1913, Medical Protective acquired Physicians Defense Company. Byron Somers and by his descendants ran Medical Protective until 1998 when General Electric purchased the company. In 2005, Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway purchased the company for $825 million.
It has annual premiums over $700 million and statutory assets over $2 billion. Its products are underwritten by the Medical Protective Company and are distributed through a network of employee market managers and appointed agents. Company headquarters is located in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
1899 - Recognizing that healthcare providers are increasingly being sued, Dr. Alpheus P. Buchman and others create Physicians' Guarantee Company (PGC) to provide pre-paid legal defense coverage.
1902 - PGC changes its name to Physicians' Defense Company (PDC), with Dr. Miles F. Porter as President, and Dr. Charles A.L. Reed (President of the AMA) on the board of directors.
1907 - Medical Protective is founded by Byron H. Somers and Charles M. Niezer and offers pre-paid legal defense coverage to healthcare providers.
1910 - Medical Protective expands coverage to include indemnity coverage. Medical Protective offers medical professional liability insurance policies with limits of $5,000/$15,000 for $15 a year.
1913 - PDC merges with Medical Protective
1920s - Byron H. Somers leads Medical Protective and the company becomes the largest insurer of healthcare providers in 17 states.
1930s - Medical Protective introduces a much broader coverage policy and helps shape the defense of medical practitioners; provides the first "medmal bible" to the industry, named "Brief on Malpractice Law."
1940s - Medical Protective defends well over 50,000 claims and provides physicians and dentists with continued coverage during their WWII military service.
1950s - Always with a vision towards the future of healthcare, Medical Protective begins insuring residents and interns during their training.
1960s - Medical Protective begins to expand coverage and increase limits and continues its national leadership position.
1970s - Medical Protective is one of the few carriers to survive the increasing number of medical malpractice suits that results in the industry's "first crisis."
1980s - While many carriers exit the market during the industry's "second crisis," Medical Protective continues to offer occurrence coverage and to award claim-free credits for policyholders without losses.
1990s - Focusing on the continuum of care, Medical Protective begins to insure small and community-based hospitals.
1998 - General Electric purchases Medical Protective and expands coverage countrywide.
2001 - Recognizing technology advancements, Medical Protective offers online risk management CME courses, and STATUS online coverage application.
2002 - While St. Paul Travelers and others exit the market during the industry's "third crisis," Medical Protective adds policyholders and expands to meet the needs of healthcare providers.
2005 - Medical Protective is purchased from GE by Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway. Insureds have the long-term confidence that comes from being with Fortune Magazine's "World's Most Admired Insurer."
2007 - Medical Protective insures stand-alone surgery centers, cancer treatment centers, dialysis centers and imaging centers, and forges partnerships with specialty organizations and associations to offer solutions to their members.
- "New Guarantee Company”, The Fort Wayne Sentinel, June 20, 1899
- “Legal Expense Insurance”, Werner Pfennigstorf, The American Journal of Comparative Law, Vol. 23, No. 3 (Summer, 1975), pp 451-489
- "Company Name Change", The Fort Wayne Weekly Sentinel, April 23, 1902
- "Medical Protective Takes over Physicians Defense", The Fort Wayne Daily News, November 15, 1913
- "Berkshire Hathaway and GE Complete Medical Protective Transaction". Midwest News. 2005-05-05. Retrieved 2007-04-09.