A new malpractice insurance company has been formed in New Jersey to provide an option for physicians struggling with reportedly among the highest premiums in the nation. Physicians Trust Co., which was unveiled at a news conference last week in Trenton, doesn't have a license yet, hasn't registered with the state insurance department and declined to provide financial information at the press conference. Bill Megna, the company's lawyer, said its final application will be delivered to the state later this week. Megna said he expects the company to begin writing policies by mid-December, with plans for 500 to 1,000 policyholders. "If you're doing good underwriting and risk management, and you take new lives on without inheriting mistakes of prior (insurers), it's a good market," he said of New Jersey. The state is one of 19 that the American Medical Association says is experiencing a "crisis" because of malpractice costs. John Shaffer, a spokesman for the Medical Society of New Jersey, said his association has a "lot of questions" about the new company, including its funding. "We could always use another insurer," he said. "But we've got some problems with this one." -- by Michael Romano
Malpractice insurer readies for N.J. amid doubts
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