Thursday, November 6, 2008

Effects of Arkansas Tort Reform Being Weighed by Insurance Commissioner

According to an article in the Arkansas Times, Fewer medical malpractice suits, tort reform legislation in Act 649 has reduced the number of medical malpractice suits filed in the state. But says the article, the effect of Act 649 on insurance premiums is less clear.

"The state insurance commissioner is required by law to file an annual report with the legislature on malpractice insurance rates. Those reports have generally said that it's still too early to evaluate the effect on rates of Act 649.... The report says there were nine medical malpractice rate filings in Arkansas in the most recent 12-month reporting period. Three of those were by new companies entering the state or for new products offered by companies already here, and thus couldn't be compared to previous rates, the report says. Of the other six filings, 'One filing provided for an overall decrease in rates of 39.5 percent. Five contained overall increased rates, none above 14.4 percent.'"

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