Charlestown’s Joe Murphy is poised to assume the role of CEO and president of the Coverys medical professional liability insurance company this spring, with the retirement of current CEO Gregg Hanson.
Hanson has been CEO since 2012, and Murphy joined the company in 2015 and is the current Chief Operating Officer (COO). He was brought in at the time with the idea that he would be part of the succession plan and the company’s long-term growth plan – both of which have been executed during his time there.
Murphy said part of his role as COO was with the understanding that he would be part of the succession plan when the current CEO retired.
“Having this internal transition has been smooth,” he said. “We’re working on that transition now. I’m very excited to continue learning how to be a transformative leader of the company.”
Coverys is a leading provider of medical professional liability (MPL) insurance and the current CEO will retire effective March 31. As part of this planned transition, the Board of Directors announced this week that Murphy will indeed become CEO and President effective April 1.
Murphy said Coverys started in the mid-1970s with Massachusetts as its single state of operation, but has grown most recently to having six offices in the United States and one office in London.
While managing the growth of the company, Murphy has also overseen underwriting, business development and distribution, business analytics and risk management, claims, and Coverys Insurance Services.
“Joe came to Coverys with a wealth of knowledge and experience. He has proven to be a great asset as COO, so this was a natural transition and a long standing part of Coverys’ succession planning process. The Board is confident of our continued success with Joe leading Coverys into the next chapter,” said Dr. Brenda Richardson, chair of the Board.
Murphy, 46, came to Coverys after serving as the Insurance Commissioner for Massachusetts for more than five years – dealing with the revamp of the auto insurance regulations and the implementation of the Affordable Care Act in the state.
However, he came to insurance through a very different path than most.
“When you’re a kid you mostly want to be an astronaut or a baseball player, and I don’t think anyone thinks of going into insurance,” he said. “I worked as an aide for now-Speaker Ron Mariano when he first became a state representative (from Quincy) in the mid-1990s. He was the vice chair of the Insurance Committee and I got to know insurance issues in great detail because of that.”
Soon after, he began working in the Insurance Division for the state and did that more than 10 years before becoming Commissioner.
“Having the legislative background and then learning the regulatory side was really, really important,” he said. “That’s how I fell into it and it’s been really exciting so far.”
Murphy is one of nine children and grew up in Quincy. However, he and his wife, Rebecca, have lived in Charlestown for about 10 years. Their daughter Annalise, 6, attends the Warren Prescott School and their daughter Emerson, 4, goes to the Charlestown Nursery School.
They have become very immersed in the Town and really enjoy living and raising their family here, Murphy said.
Coverys has about 750 employees worldwide and nearly 240 in Boston, but few are currently at the headquarters in 1 Financial Place. One of the big things to figure out for Murphy will be how and when to bring employees back to the office. Currently, he said he goes in at times, but also works at home from Charlestown when he can. He said there is a possibility of June 1, but that’s not decided.
“We’re still evaluating if that makes sense,” he said.
Some of the other issues now on the docket because of COVID-19 changes to the medical and health care system include telemedicine, and just how that might affect their clients and organizations. All of that is new territory and a hot subject in the industry, he said.
“There’s a lot to consider for risk management, and you still need to do appropriate documentation even over the phone,” he said. “I worry that down the road we’ll see an uptick in missed or incorrect diagnoses.”
Murphy also was an active member of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) and served as chair of the Interstate Insurance Product Regulation Commission, and as a member of the Executive Committee, Property and Casualty Insurance Committee, Reinsurance Task Force, Surplus Lines Task Force and Workers’ Compensation Task Force as well as a number of other committees and task forces. With over $3.5 billion in assets, Coverys is a leading provider of medical professional liability insurance for medical practitioners and health systems.