Minor ignored MACM premium refunds, other ‘facts’

After reading Bill Minor’s column of May 25 (“U.S. Chamber lets the air out of Miss. tort reformers balloon”), a quote from one of my favorite presidents immediately came to mind, to wit: “There you go again!”

As he has done so many times in the past, Mr. Minor selected facts that seem to prove his point, ignored facts that indicated otherwise, and simply made up “facts” for emphasis.

He downplayed the significance of our keeping our rates level in 2005, failing to mention that 2005 was the first year in many years that we did not have to raise rates. He conveniently failed to report the 54 percent rate increase in 2003 or the 19.4 percent rate increase in 2004 caused by severity and frequency of claims.

Keeping rates level in 2005 may not have been meaningful to Mr. Minor, but there were some 2,500 physicians in this state who certainly appreciated it.

Mr. Minor completely ignored the fact that physicians insured by Medical Assurance Company of Mississippi on Dec. 15, 2005, received a premium refund equal to approximately 15 percent of the premium paid that year. Likewise, in 2006, we reduced our rates by 5 percent, and then refunded approximately 20 percent of the premiums paid by our insured physicians in December, 2006, after it became clear that our incurred losses were continuing to decline following passage of tort reforms.

As for 2007, we have already reduced our rates by 10 percent, and I can assure Mr. Minor that, if, as we feel quite certain will happen, our incurred losses remain at current levels or below, our policyholders can expect another premium refund later this year and another rate reduction going into 2008.

So, we say again, before Mr. Minor begins quoting “facts” about MACM, he should please feel free to contact us first to be certain that he has those “facts” straight.

Mike Houpt
Clarion Ledger
6/5/7