Medical malpractice insurance costs drop along with claims

by Brian Bandell
http://www.bizjournals.com

Medical malpractice insurance has become a soft market that benefits Florida doctors seeking lower rates.

Rates in the primary medical malpractice insurance market fell 8.6 percent in 2007, according to a study released in October by the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation. That’s a welcome relief from the early part of the decade, when rates shot up by double digits in consecutive years.

A big factor is the declining numbers of closed medical malpractice claims, including a 14.5 percent dip in South Florida from 2006 to 2007.

Statewide, 3,553 medical malpractice claims were closed in 2007, down from 3,811 in 2006. The 2007 claims led to $523.6 million in indemnity payments and $174.7 million in insurance company fees to defense counsel. The indemnity payments declined 1.4 percent, while defense attorneys collected 5.2 percent more in fees.

Correction:
The name of Stuart Grossman’s law firm, Grossman Roth, was incorrect in an earlier version of this article.

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