Wash. company cuts some liability premiums, for now

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Feb. 7, 2005

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Physicians Insurance -- the physician-owned mutual company that insures the majority of Washington's doctors -- in January announced that it would ask the state to approve a 7.7% decrease in rates for a mature-year physician with a $1 million per occurrence/$5 million aggregate policy.

"In fact, most insured physicians will see a premium decrease in 2005," Physicians Insurance President and CEO Mary-Lou Misrahy said in a letter to doctors.

In part, the decrease is possible because the company will not need to charge the 13.3% surcharge it did in 2004 to boost the surplus. But Misrahy said the state still needs meaningful tort reform.

"I must acknowledge that many clouds are on the horizon," she wrote. "Average payments on closed claims continue to increase, and therefore rates will almost certainly resume their unacceptable upward trend in 2006."

Note: This item originally appeared at

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