Ophthalmic Mutual Insurance Co. RRG (OMIC) President Tim Padovese will be retiring on March 24, 2024. Formed in 1988, OMIC is one of the longest operating and most successful risk retention groups. Like many of the most effective risk retention groups, OMIC has a strong core membership in a particular niche. With a strong membership, an RRG can build out programs to further support the membership, including tailored risk management programs that provide members with benefits that extend beyond simply providing the membership with insurance coverage.
Padovese looks back on how OMIC has strengthened its service to its members over his 22 years leading the company including expanding risk management programs and increasing relationships with state ophthalmic societies. Padovese also addresses how OMIC has prepared for a transition to new leadership and the importance of associations such as the Vermont Captive Insurance Association and National Risk Retention Association to continued success of OMIC.
Risk Retention Reporter: You’ve been the president and CEO of OMIC for over 20 years—over half of its time of operation. How has the company grown over that period, both in terms of membership and in terms of the services that OMIC provides to members?
Padovese: I started at OMIC on April 1, 2002, and I will complete my service on March 1, 2024. When I started, OMIC was a small company with 2,000 insureds and $18 million in premium. The company had $20 million in surplus.
I knew the company needed to grow. Now, at the end of 2023, OMIC has 6,140 insureds and premium of $62 million. Surplus has increased to $245 million. During my tenure, we have pushed back $102 million in dividends to our members. I am also proud of what we have done with the staffing at the company, with the number of employees growing from 20 to 54.
Over the years our business approach has not changed. We have stuck to insuring Ophthalmologists and their practices. Within their practices OMIC insures surgery centers, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, technicians as well as over 1,500 insured optometrists. OMIC also insurers eye banks and its total market share for ophthalmologists has increased from 18% in 2021 to over 60% today.
When I joined OMIC, we had the support of a few state ophthalmic societies—now 44 state ophthalmic societies have OMIC as a supported carrier. We have also partnered with many of the ophthalmic specialty societies such as Ocular Plastics, Retina, and Pediatrics, just to name a few. With the support of both state societies and specialty societies OMIC is able to deliver risk management programs and discounts that benefit all the organizations.
Growth through state societies, specialty societies, and American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO)—OMIC’s original sponsoring entity when the RRG formed as a mutual insurance company domiciled in Vermont—has been key. It has allowed OMIC to stay focused on the needs of the ophthalmic community.
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