Disclosure and insurability

Disclosure is the process of revealing information. To bind reinsurance coverage, you must reveal claimant data that may not have been available at the time of underwriting. This disclosure is important for identifying chronic situations that represent known risks and is necessary because of the inherent delay between underwriting the risks and binding the coverage. Disclosure is intended to be a quick review of the latest claim activity at the time that a binder for coverage is signed.

Why is disclosure important?

When preparing a quote, the reinsurer performs a careful analysis of claim costs and trends, including an analysis of the current year's activity. A critical assumption is the degree to which this data can be considered complete. Disclosure helps the reinsurer solidify the accuracy of this assumption.

The disclosure also identifies claimants that may be categorized as chronic and, therefore, highly predictable in both the usage and the cost of services. Depending upon the level of predictable costs, certain members may become uninsurable.

Further, the reinsurer may be able to immediately employ a managed care program to assist in the management of these new claims. This, of course, would potentially benefit both you and the reinsurer.

An accurate disclosure is important to you to protect against possible denial of a claim. The disclosure statement is part of the signed binder. Therefore, without full disclosure, the reinsurer has the right to exclude serious losses that were known by the plan, but not disclosed. This may be rare, but the reinsurer does this to protect against the situation where a party knowingly withholds serious losses.

What to disclose?

The disclosure statement (sample below) identifies the claimants that need to be disclosed: any member that is expected to have covered losses that will exceed 50% of the selected specific retention. Limiting this list to those representing a potential serious loss will expedite the process; however, you need to be careful to list all members that are known to you.

No matter how long or short your list, it is critical to provide the following data for each claimant:

  • Diagnosis or diagnoses—allows the reinsurer to identify chronic or ongoing care which is highly predictable in nature.
  • Prognosis—helps identify a near term resolution versus an ongoing situation and helps identify future costs. An estimate of future costs should accompany a prognosis.
  • Charges/claim amount—identifies the magnitude of the claim.
  • Current status and future treatments—supports the information provided in the prognosis.

When these items are provided in a concise but thorough manner for each disclosed claimant, the process can usually be completed very quickly with little, if any, additional discussions of clinical details.

What are the possible outcomes?

Most likely the disclosure will reveal a normal level of catastrophic claim activity of an acute nature, which allows the reinsurer to confirm the terms as originally priced.

Another scenario is that a chronic claim is identified to have a high probability of continuing into the coverage period in question, and a separate deductible may be assigned to that claim if it is likely to exceed the retention. This has now become a known claim to both you and the reinsurer and, therefore, uninsurable. A basic premise of insurance is that known events with predictable costs are not insurable.

A third scenario is that the disclosed claim information is dramatically different from the claim information presented during the quotation process, and the reinsurer is forced either to materially modify its quoted rates or terms or to completely withdraw their quotation. This rarely occurs.

Disclosure Statement by Reinsured

(Used by Summit Re and ERC/Swiss Re)

You agree that any serious losses known by you as of the date you sign this Offer will be excluded from coverage unless previously disclosed to and accepted by ERC. Please enclose with this Offer any serious claim information that has come to your attention so that we may re-evaluate our underwriting. A "serious claim" is defined as any loss known by you for which:

  1. Charges incurred have exceeded 50% of the Specific Retention selected; or
  2. Charges are expected to exceed the Specific Retention selected due to the nature of the illness or injury; or
  3. Any Member remains hospitalized or disabled and is expected to exceed 50% of the Specific Retention.

Information submitted for each serious claim should include the diagnosis or diagnoses, prognosis, charges/claim amount, current status, and future treatments.