Assisted-Living Liability Plan Faltering Miami Herald (03/17/02) p.1E; Chandler, Michele
Liability insurance rates for Florida's assisted-living facilities have been soaring, and many insurers are pulling out of the state. Many owners have had to boost residents' monthly rent, take over some non-administrative duties, or limit the number of beds in operation in order to offset the increases. Meanwhile, Ron D'addio, an agent with Boca Raton-based Plastridge Agency, says the number of companies willing to insure assisted-living facilities has fallen from 17 firms in 1999 to four. Because of a rising number of lawsuits related to patient abuse or neglect, Florida Department of Insurance spokeswoman Tami Torres says many insurers are unwilling to underwrite the risk. In response, many of the state's retirement homes have been working to establish LTC Risk Retention Group Insurance Co., a firm providing assisted-living facilities and nursing homes with property and casualty insurance. Though lobbyists are calling for a $6 million dollar loan to capitalize the proposed company, the Legislature has not yet approved the loan; without it, LTC Risk has little chance of survival. To generate the necessary start-up capital, LTC Risk had considered charging $163 per bed and annual premiums of $380 per bed for a maximum payout per incident of $500,000. However, larger chains generally need higher payouts and can find existing insurance at a similar price.