Florida’s 2009 Medical Malpractice Report Shows Positive Trends for the Industry
– The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation (Office) released its 2009 annual report
on the medical malpractice insurance market in Florida. Pursuant to Florida law, the Office is required to annually issue a summary and analysis of the state of the medical malpractice insurance industry.
The report showed a continuing trend of recovery for the medical malpractice industry that experienced double-digit rate increases and lack of availability prior to the 2003 legislative reforms. In fact, the report showed a net decline in medical malpractice rates for the primary market, which includes physicians and surgeons. The net decrease of all approved rates in force in Florida was 10 percent for 2008.
“This report also shows the total medical malpractice insurance premium for the state of Florida dropped in 2008 for the fifth consecutive year,” remarked Commissioner Kevin McCarty. “This is very encouraging news for doctors and hospitals.”
The annual report compared Florida’s medical malpractice industry’s financial data to data from nine other states: California, Illinois, New York, Texas, New Jersey, Ohio, Georgia, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania. The report showed that Florida’s loss experience and defense cost and containment expenses are now competitive with states in this peer group.
The report also showed that seven new medical malpractice carriers entered the market in 2008. An analysis of the closed claims data submitted to the Office’s Professional Liability Closed Claims Reporting system reported 3,336 closed claims in 2008, which paid an estimated $700 million; $519.1 million in damages paid, and the remainder in loss adjustment expense.
Following the 2003 reforms, the Office developed a “presumed savings factor” of 7.8 percent. The initial reduction was based on the premise that this factor would be revisited at a future date to determine the full impact of the new legislation.