Seventy-four New Jersey physicians who buy their malpractice insurance through Zurich American will reap $2.7 million in savings under a state rollback in the company's 2003 premium increases, according to the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance.
The department says New York-based Zurich's 2003 base rate increase of 108% was "excessive" and ordered the company last week to cut back the increase to no more than 30%, says department spokesperson Mary Cozzolino.
Cozzolino says it appeared to be the first time in recent years that the department has ordered a rollback of malpractice insurance rates.
In 2002 as well, Zurich raised rates for 48% of its healthcare providers--including 60% of its obstetricians--by more than 30%, the department says in a release.
That 2002 increase was "far above the rest of the marketplace," which overall raised rates above 30% for only 7.44 % of all providers, including 21% of obstetricians, the department adds.
Zurich is one of 16 malpractice insurance carriers listed by the department on its Web site.