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News: 2012 Press Release

For Release: April 11, 2012
Media Calls Only: 916-492-3566
Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones Announces Medical Malpractice Rates Lowered For Two More Malpractice Insurers
Rate Reductions Save Doctors, Dentists and Other Medical Providers Nearly $23 million

Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones today announced lower rates for medical malpractice insurance offered by Medical Protection Company (MedPro) and NCMIC Insurance Company, saving doctors, dentists, chiropractors and other medical providers nearly $4 million annually in premiums. The two join three other insurers, NORCAL Mutual, The Dentists Insurance Company and The Medical Insurance Exchange of California's physicians and surgeons program, whose rates were also recently lowered as a result of action taken by Commissioner Jones, for a total savings to medical providers of nearly $23 million.

Last year Commissioner Jones required the top six medical malpractice insurance companies in California to submit rate filings to the Department of Insurance to justify their current rates. After review of those filings, Commissioner Jones called for rate reductions. As a result of the Commissioner's rejection of excessive rates, five of the companies' medical malpractice rates have been lowered substantially. This leaves one insurer still under review by the Department of Insurance.

"These recent medical malpractice insurance rate reductions bring the total savings for medical providers to nearly $23 million a year, helping to reduce the underlying cost of healthcare," said Commissioner Jones. "It defies reason that the Insurance Commissioner has the legal authority under Proposition 103 to reduce excessive medical malpractice insurance rates for doctors, dentists, and other medical providers, but I don't have the authority to reject excessive health insurance or HMO rate increases for ordinary Californians, their families, or their businesses. We need to extend Proposition 103 to health insurance and HMOs, so that we can reject excessive health insurance and HMO rate increases that are devastating Californians and California's businesses."

MedPro, the fifth largest medical malpractice writer in California, will lower rates by 11.9 percent for its physicians and surgeons program. Consumer Watchdog petitioned to intervene in the company's filing. The reduction saves policyholders-doctors, dentists and other medical providers-just over $3 million. NCMIC Insurance Company, which specializes in writing medical malpractice insurance for chiropractors, is reducing its rates 7.25 percent, resulting in a premium saving of slightly more than $500,000.

MedPro will implement its rate reduction on June 1 and NCMIC on July 1 of this year. The Department is in the process of reviewing the rates of The Doctors Company, the last of the six top medical malpractice insurance companies selling in California.

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The California Department of Insurance, established in 1868, is the largest consumer protection agency in California, regulating the $123 billion insurance marketplace. In 2013 the California Department of Insurance received more than 170,000 calls from consumers and helped recover over $63 million in claims and premiums. Please visit the Department of Insurance web site at www.insurance.ca.gov. Non-media inquiries should be directed to the Consumer Hotline at 800.927.HELP or 213.897.8921. Telecommunications Devices for the Deaf (TDD), please dial 800.482.4833.

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