NY, NJ, Conn. Med Mal Premium Costs on the Rise

March 27, 2002

Pennsylvania isn’t the only Eastern State to experience precipitate increases in the cost of medical malpractice insurance. A report in the New York Times reveals premium increases of between 10 and 40 percent in Connecticut and New Jersey, and at least a 20 percent rise in New York.

The scenario is all too familiar. Many NY doctors are now experiencing the same heavy demands that have been going on in Pennsylvania and some other states for the last two or three years. They’re now struggling to find affordable malpractice coverage, and some have elected to quit practicing medicine, or have gone into less exposed fields.

The Times blames a combination of increasing jury awards in malpractice cases, which have jumped by 70 percent since 1995, and now average $3.5 million, and the need for the insurers to recoup losses from higher claims and from falling returns on their investments.

The article also highlights the role of cooperative insurance groups, many founded by doctors’ organizations, that are now experiencing large losses, and the current problems of NJ-based MIIX Group, which is struggling to cope with large losses.

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