I think you will enjoy this article from the on-line version of the Fayetteville, North Carolina newspaper. A few excerpts:
"Annual statements of Medical Mutual Insurance Co. of North Carolina filed with the N.C. Department of Insurance from 2001 through 2006 were studied and evaluated by former Missouri Insurance Commissioner Jay Angoff and some of his findings are:
Underwriting gain — the amount they earned on their insurance business — was up by 948 percent in only two years, from $2.1 million in 2004 to $22 million in 2006.
The surplus they hold, in addition to the amount which they set aside to pay claims in the future, nearly quadrupled in six years, rising from $35.3 million in 2001 to $127 million in 2006. Despite the surplus, no dividends were paid to their policyholders (physicians) in any year throughout the period 2001-2006.
They increased rates for physicians in 2006 even though their own data indicated that both the size and frequency of claims were decreasing. From 2001 through 2006, they collected $621 million in premiums and paid out only $184 million in claims.
While malpractice carriers have consistently jacked up rates for physicians, some are now finally leveling off, which makes sense since malpractice claims are at an all-time low in North Carolina. According to data maintained by the N.C. Administrative Office of the Courts, from 1998 through 2006 malpractice cases comprised .3 percent of all civil filings in North Carolina. In 2006, North Carolinians filed a total of 510 malpractice lawsuits across the state, an 11 percent decrease from 2005 and a 24 percent decrease from 2004. "
We will not have data about SVMIC until the Spring of 2008, but my guess is that we will see a decrease in both the number of claims and the average claim payment again.
Thanks to the folks at Tort Deform for letting me know about this article.