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Report: Malpractice Insurers Guilty of Premium-Inflation Malpractice

June 18, 2007

Denver - Malpractice insurance rates have gone up across the country, and Colorado doctors are no exception, but an increase in pay-outs isn't to blame. That according to a report from the American Association for Justice. It says major insurers have actually been paying out less in claims and still charging doctors higher premiums. Report author Jay Angoff says Colorado's main malpractice insurer is no exception.

“In 2006, for each dollar paid out in claims, they took in four dollars, or 4 times as much, in premium.”

Angoff notes that in Colorado, doctors have the right to request a hearing from the state insurance division on whether their insurance rates are excessive.

“If the commissioner finds that that rate is excessive, she has the power under Colorado law to order a refund. [In other words,] the excessive portion of the rate can be refunded to any doctor who has paid that rate.”

The insurance industry has criticized Angoff's analysis, saying it doesn't take into account all insurance company liabilities, and that profits are low in the malpractice insurance sector. Angoff disagrees.

“What they've been telling the public and what many politicians were telling the public during the last several years, couldn't be further from the truth.”

The report is online at

Eric Mack/Jamie Folsom, Public News Service - CO