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News: 2012 Press Release
For Release: October 1, 2012
Media Calls Only: 916-492-3566
Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones Announces Second Medical Malpractice Rate Reduction For NORCAL Mutual
$18 Million Yearly in Additional Savings for Doctors: Total Savings of $52 Million Yearly
Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones today announced the second medical malpractice rate reduction this year for NORCAL Mutual Insurance Company's physician and surgeon program. The company's 6.9 percent reduction saves primarily Southern California doctors approximately $8.5 million annually. This company initiated rate reduction follows a Department ordered 7.1 percent decrease in March for an overall savings of $18 million this year alone for physicians and surgeons insured by NORCAL Mutual.
Last year Commissioner Jones ordered the top six medical malpractice insurance companies in California to submit rate filings to the Department of Insurance to justify their current rates. After a thorough review of those filings, Commissioner Jones called for rate reductions. As a result of the Commissioner's rejection of excessive rates, all six companies lowered their medical malpractice rates.
"I'm pleased the medical malpractice rates are continuing to be decreased under the Department's rate review process and authority," said Commissioner Jones. "These medical malpractice rate reductions show the important role that Proposition 103, which authorizes the insurance Commissioner to reject excessive rate hikes for property and casualty insurance, including medical malpractice insurance, has played in curbing medical malpractice rates since it was passed in 1988."
NORCAL Mutual Insurance Company is the second largest medical malpractice writer in California with $135 million of earned premiums in 2011.
Earlier this year the company joined the following companies in lowering rates, at the direction of the Insurance Commissioner, for a total savings to medical providers of $52 million:
- NORCAL Mutual Insurance Company (August reduction) - $8.5 million
- NORCAL Mutual Insurance Company (March reduction) - $9.65 million
- Medical Protective Company - $3 million
- Doctors Company, An Inter-Insurance Exchange - $21 million
- The Dentists Insurance Company - $4 million
- The Medical Insurance Exchange of California - $5.3 million
- NCMIC Insurance Company - $500,000
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.