A sour U.S. economy has put a damper on profitability for many industries over the past few years, but at least one industry in Florida has seen continual improvement and profitability. The medical malpractice insurance market has gained stability with returns of over six percent, according to the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation, which recently issued its 2010 industry report.
Once beleaguered with increasing rates and the never-ending debate over the right for someone to sue a physician, the medical malpractice industry in Florida has enjoyed profitability for six years in a row. In 2009, insurers paid nearly $740 million to resolve over 3,000 claims that were closed. New insurers offering insurance at competitive rates to physicians and health care facilities helped lead the industry to profitability, according to the report.
While the industry has turned a corner, debate still continues over how legislators will address continued call from the medical industry for added protection that would isolate them from even further liability.
High rates drove away doctors and insurers, but Florida approved tort reform in 2003 that lowered the cap on pain and suffering damages to $500,000. That helped lower the number of malpractice claims, reduce premiums and draw more insurers to Florida, eager to capitalize on the new rules, all of which helped to improve profitability. With premiums down by as much as 40 percent statewide, the lower costs have proven helpful to the bottom lines of businesses and kept high-end medical talent in the state.
Of course, if you or someone you love suffers an injury visiting a physician or health care facility, experts suggest consulting with an attorney who is experienced in medical malpractice claims to review your rights.