September 2, 2008
TMLT reduces rates for sixth consecutive year following Texas tort reform
Laura Brockway, communications and advertising manager
(512) 425-5936 or firstname.lastname@example.org
AUSTIN, TEXAS... The Board of Governors of Texas Medical Liability Trust (TMLT) has approved an average 4.7% rate reduction for TMLT-insured physicians and a 22.5% dividend for renewing policyholders, effective January 1, 2009.
"TMLT has now reduced rates for Texas physicians six consecutive years since the passage of House Bill 4 and Proposition 12 in 2003," said Bob Fields, president and CEO of TMLT. For the first five years, rates were reduced across the board for all specialties: 12% in 2004; 5% in 2005; 5% in 2006; 7.5% in 2007; 6.5% in 2008. For 2009, all specialties will receive a rate decrease but the reduction will vary by specialty and territory with an average decrease of 4.7%. According to Fields, the cumulative premium savings realized by policyholders will exceed $275 million since January 2004.
"This is the fourth consecutive year the Trust has announced a policyholder dividend," said Fields. "The 22.5% dividend is the largest percentage dividend in the Trust's history. Since the first dividend was declared in 2005, renewing TMLT policyholders will have received dividend credits off renewal premiums amounting to approximately $105 million."
Since the passage of medical liability reform, TMLT insured physicians will have saved $380 million in decreased premiums, once this latest round of rate cuts and dividends is implemented.
Effective tort reform has continued to reduce non-meritorious litigation against physicians. As long as 2003 tort reform measures remain in place, TMLT believes the legal environment will remain stable. TMLT's current strong financial position makes these rate reductions and dividends possible; however, there is no guarantee that the business and legal climate will support future rate reductions or dividends. The TMLT Governing Board, executive management, and financial consultants to the Trust determine rate reductions and dividend considerations annually.
TMLT is the state's largest medical liability insurance provider, serving over 14,500 Texas Medical Association (TMA) member physicians.
TMLT is a not-for-profit health care liability claim trust created and endorsed by TMA and owned by its physician policyholders. The Trust is headquartered in Austin, Texas.