COPIC Insurance, the largest medical malpractice insurance company in Colorado, will increase rates by an average of 15.9 percent, according to the Associated Press. It is the biggest rate increase in 16 years. COPIC’s 6,000 Colorado policyholders will see an average premium of $15,500 per physician for 2005. Dermatologists and neurosurgeons will be the hardest specialists hit by the increase. Dermatologists will see a 47.5 percent rate increase and will pay about $13,000 a year. Neurosurgeons will pay an average of $88,600, which is 18 percent more than 2004. COPIC said that legislation that raised the cap on non-economic damage awards in medical malpractice cases was partially to blame for the rate increases, as well as settlements and litigation costs. The cap on pain and suffering awards was raised to $300,000 from $250,000 in 2003. The Doctors Co., another Colorado med-mal insurer, filed a rate increase of 18.4 percent earlier this year. COPIC insures 80 percent of the doctors in Colorado.
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