Friday, May 25, 2007

Malpractice insurance price gouging?

According to a new report issued by the American Association for Justice the answer is "yes": from the press release:

Written by former Missouri Insurance Commissioner Jay Angoff, the study is based on recent annual reports from the top 15 medical malpractice insurers as rated by A.M. Best. The report shows that these insurers artificially raised doctors’ premiums and misled the public about the nature of malpractice claims – asserting that a so-called “malpractice crisis” exists. The report puts the lie to that claim.

According to the study:

The medical malpractice insurers saw losses and projected losses plummet by 48% over the period 2003-2006.
These incurred losses have declined every year for the past five years. These insurers’ 2006 surplus is 43% greater than their surplus in 2003 – five times the state-minimum surplus for insurer stability.
Only three of the 15 leading insurers issued dividends to doctors in 2006.

“Medical malpractice insurance companies have been price-gouging doctors, padding their pockets with excessive premiums and driving up the cost of healthcare,” said Jon Haber, AAJ Chief Executive Officer. “Cynically, these same insurance companies have been blaming high premiums on a so-called ‘malpractice crisis’ that doesn’t exist. We have an insurance crisis, not a medical malpractice crisis.”
Click here to read the entire press release. Click here to access the AAJ report (that graph on page 3 says it all).

No comments: