The following letter was sent to WSPA from Jana N. Martin, Ph.D. CEO, The Trust
The amount of support I received from policyholders while attending the APA Convention was overwhelming – our clients are the best! In our post-Convention debriefing, The Trust staff and I composed a list of the most common, and most concerning, questions we handled during Convention. The focus of most of these, of course, was the end of our preferred provider designation with APA. In the spirit of transparency, I wanted to take this time to share my responses directly with you, and to also set the record straight on some unfortunate misconceptions voiced at Convention.
1. Why did The Trust and APA end their long-term relationship?
This was probably the most commonly asked question we handled before and during Convention. Most of those asking this question seemed to wonder if there were changes or a problem with The Trust. That’s simply not the case. What we had with APA was strictly a marketing agreement. The end of our relationship with APA changed nothing in the way we go about our business each day or how stable we are as a company. It also changed nothing about your ability to stay with The Trust. It’s always your choice to select your professional liability provider. I’d also like to reiterate that APA membership is not a condition of securing a policy with The Trust – and hasn’t been since 2013.
The Trust and APA began the process of negotiating a new agreement in 2017; we were hopeful and excited about continuing the relationship. While money is always a part of this kind of negotiation, the rumor about The Trust walking away because of APA’s monetary demands is unfounded. In actuality, it boiled down to APA insisting on access to all our policyholders’ information. This was a non-negotiable for The Trust, and we advised APA’s negotiators of that. At The Trust, our clients come first. We will not compromise our values or your protection. This is why we, ultimately, walked away from being APA’s preferred provider. Although Dr. Arthur Evans, APA’s CEO, was not part of the negotiating team, The Trust made sure he was aware of our opposition to this requirement.
I’m a psychologist, as are many of our Trustees. We know firsthand the challenges you face in our profession and are in the unique position of being able to address them. Our motto, “For Psychologists, By Psychologists” resonates in everything we do, and you can be sure that we always have the best interest of our policyholders in mind. The Trust’s negotiating team, which I led personally, included a couple of the senior managers on The Trust’s staff. APA’s team was comprised of Deanne Ottaviano, APA’s General Counsel, and Ian King, APA’s Director of Marketing, and an outside insurance consultant APA retained for this purpose; there was no psychologist on APA’s team.
2. Prior Acts versus Tail Coverage
We also recognized that there’s a misunderstanding about the mechanics of prior acts coverage; the availability of prior acts does not necessarily negate the need for purchasing a tail when you switch your claims-made policy to a new carrier. Please understand that prior acts coverage is subject to the new policy’s terms, and, therefore, subject to the exclusions and restrictions of that new policy. Policies vary, and do not always cover the same practice settings or focus at the same level. The decision whether or not to buy a tail is one that deserves thoughtful consideration. Remember this before you put yourself in a bad position based on incomplete information.
3. Occurrence versus Claims-Made Coverage
Also, please be sure when you’re comparing policies that you’re comparing apples-to-apples. For example, if you currently have an occurrence policy with The Trust, you’ll want any rate comparisons to be based on another occurrence policy. We’re happy to give you a quote for claims-made too. A few policyholders came to our booth saying a competitor on-site had just quoted them a substantially lower rate than they were paying for coverage with The Trust. After some research, we determined the quoted rate was for a claims-made policy, not an occurrence policy – big difference. Keep in mind that The Trust is the only provider that offers the option of both claims-made and occurrence coverage to best suit your needs.
4. Premium Discounts
Please note that all premium discounts are subject to individual state insurance department approval, and just because someone is offering a blanket discount, doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s actually available for your state. One of the flyers distributed at Convention by an on-site competitor noted that the discounts listed were subject to state approval. Beware.
I also want to make sure you’re aware of the discounts we offer to ensure you’re getting the best rate possible. This includes up to a 15% discount at renewal when you complete one of our live or on-demand risk management 6-hour continuing education courses and its exam. We also have other valuable CE courses, including our most popular topics on telepsychology, risk management, licensing board complaints, and retirement.
In closing, please be assured that The Trust today is the same organization that has put psychologists first – “For Psychologists, By Psychologists” – for many decades. I can say without hesitation that no other company comes close to offering the caliber of support we provide to our clients, including our free, unlimited risk management consultation. I promise you’re in great hands! And remember, The Trust covers your entire life, not just your career. Please check out the entire line of insurance programs we have to offer, including our brand-new pet and cyber policies.
Jana N. Martin, Ph.D.
CEO, The Trust
P.S. If you haven’t done so already, please take a minute to read our statement regarding the end of our relationship with APA, along with the accompanying FAQ. And by all means, if you hear something about us that troubles you, please don’t hesitate to contact us at (800) 477-1200 or firstname.lastname@example.org! We welcome the chance to talk to you and answer any questions or concerns you may have.