Texas loses another MedMal Insurer

Although there will be smug “I told you so’s” from those who opposed Prop 12, this has very little to do with the Texas malpractice climate.
MySanAntonio : Business
Though at first it sounds quite ominous:

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. Farmers Insurance Group said Wednesday it will stop selling medical malpractice insurance, narrowing an already tight market for physicians in some of the 18 states – including Texas – that it serves.
Farmers Insurance has “suffered significant underwriting losses” recently and plans to refocus on its core lines of home, business, auto and life insurance, said Michelle Levy, a spokeswoman for the Los Angeles-based insurance group.

Farmers Insurance stopped writing new medical malpractice policies Friday and plans to halt renewals Jan. 1, subject to the approval of insurance regulators in each state. The insurance group has active malpractice policies valued at $94.5 million – down sharply from the $231 million in premiums it had last year, Levy said.

In 2002, Farmers Insurance lost more than $100 million on its malpractice policies; losses this year were following a similar trend, she said.

You have to read to the last paragraph to find the real impact on Texas docs:

Farmers, through Truck Insurance Exchange, has 87 medical liability policies in Texas for a premium of about $3.5 million, a company spokeswoman said. That represents about 2.3 percent of the Texas market.

So, 87 Texas docs have to get a new insurance carrier (the avg. premium for all 87 docs is $40, 230). This is very inconvienient for them , but isn’t the end of the world. And then they’ll be able to say they aren’t insured through the Truck Insurance Exchange.

Thanks to George for the link!


Comments

  1. um…..
    you are aware that the post about the new buttons in the gutter, does not allow comments, aren’t you?

  2. In Arkansas we have one Malpractice Carrier, State Volunteer Mutual. Everyone else has pulled out. SVM has increased rates for EM by about 50% this year and will likely have a greater increase next year. For most of us the first 6 weeks of the year we are working to pay our malpractice insurance. Tort reform has passed in Arkansas for a while now. I don’t believe that it will change anything. The insurance companies are not going to pass this savings to us. I only see them raising premiums. I don’t believe we will see them reduced. I still think we need insurance reform more than tort reform. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t support med mal attorneys, I just think they should work on the same discount fees and payment schedules that physicians do, where a $1000 bill nets you about $200 after medicare/medicaid/insurance companies tell you what your services are worth to them.