Insurance Department, Trial Lawyers Remain At Odds

The state Insurance Department says it won't go any further with its investigation into the state's largest medical malpractice insurer.

The department says it disagrees with a trial lawyers'
association report accusing the company of excessive physician

The department reviewed data prepared for the N-C Academy of
Trial Lawyers, which last week argued Medical Mutual Insurance
Company of North Carolina was violating state law with high rates.

Insurance Department spokeswoman Chrissy Pearson says after
examining the report and performing its own analysis, the
department found Medical Mutual's rate was well within the range of
its peers.

The academy's report found that Medical Mutual's premium rates
had gone way up in recent years while claims paid were stable, and
it said the surplus that the company set aside to pay future claims
was higher than it needed to be.

Medical Mutual insures 6,300 doctors statewide.