Washington’s Largest Med-Mal Insurer Ordered to Refund $1.3 Million

March 3, 2005

Physicians Insurance and its affiliate, Western Professional Insurance Company, have been ordered to refund more than $1.3 million plus interest in excess premiums charged in 2003. They also must pay a $90,000 fine for using unfiled rates.

Approximately 2,490 insured physicians who purchased $2 million or more of medical malpractice coverage will receive refunds ranging from $1 to $4,681. The average refund will be $534. The amount of each refund that physicians will receive will depend upon the amount of coverage they purchased and other factors the companies considered in rating their policy.

In addition to the refund, Washington’s Office of the Insurance Commissioner has directed the companies to take measures to improve their business practices to ensure future compliance with state law.

“By entering into this agreement, we believe the executive management and board of directors of Physicians Insurance are fully committed to improving their compliance,” said Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler. “We will continue to monitor their progress and have already observed positive steps toward improvement.”

Physicians Insurance companies are the largest writer of medical malpractice insurance for physicians and surgeons in Washington.

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