Conventus Inter-Insurance Exchange, a Woodbridge, N.J.-based medical malpractice insurance company owned and governed by physicians, announced that the New Jersey Banking and Insurance Department has issued it a certificate of authority to underwrite medical malpractice insurance in the state.
The company will immediately commence operations and has opened a new membership offering. It is accepting new applications from New Jersey physicians now through January 31, 2003.
NIP Management Company, LLC, a subsidiary of National Insurance Programs of Woodbridge, NJ, will administer the Conventus program under the auspices of its physician-comprised Board of Governors.
In a recent nationwide analysis by the American Medical Association, New Jersey was one of twelve states where the cost of securing medical malpractice insurance has been identified as reaching crisis proportions. The analysis estimated that some New Jersey surgeons and obstetricians may pay as much as $200,000 or more for annual professional liability coverage.
A survey conducted by the Medical Society of New Jersey found that medical malpractice insurance premiums increased in 2002 by an average of 40 percent.
Exacerbating the situation, the pool of companies that offer medical malpractice in New Jersey has contracted drastically over the past year. As a result of this worsening crisis, six out of 10 New Jersey physicians will be forced to find a new medical malpractice insurance company amid a shrinking market and sharp increases in pricing.
New Jersey Banking and Insurance Commissioner Holly Bakke called the approval of Conventus “an important step in the state’s effort to bring more competition to the medical malpractice insurance market.
Conventus Inter-Insurance Exchange will solicit and accept applications from independent practice physicians and physician groups in all medical specialties throughout New Jersey without regard to size. The company will not expand into other lines of insurance or offer coverage to hospitals and other health care facilities, nor will it underwrite policies in other states.
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