Expansive Verdicts Turn Insurers Out of Mississippi.Recent multimillion-dollar jury awards are making insurers leery of doing business in Mississippi Mississippi, state, United States
Mississippi (mĭs'əsĭp`ē), one of the Deep South states of the United States. It is bordered by Alabama (E), the Gulf of Mexico (S), Arkansas and Louisiana, with most of the border formed by , Insurance Commissioner George Dale George Dale was the lover and criminal partner of Eleanor Jarman, dubbed by the press "The Blonde Tigress," and was executed by the State of Illinois on April 20, 1934 for the murder of Chicago clothier Gustav Hoeh. said.
In recent weeks, 44 companies have said they're reducing business, stopping new business or exiting lines altogether, Dale said. Others want large price increases.
"The companies that I've spoken to are somewhat leery of Mississippi because of the legal climate, either the reality of it or the perception of it. It might be a little of both...but sometimes perception does more harm than reality," Dale said.
Some insurers in Mississippi are requesting large rate increases due to the threat of litigation An action brought in court to enforce a particular right. The act or process of bringing a lawsuit in and of itself; a judicial contest; any dispute.
When a person begins a civil lawsuit, the person enters into a process called litigation. , Dale said. For instance, St. Paul St. Paul
as a missionary he fearlessly confronts the “perils of waters, of robbers, in the city, in the wilderness.” [N.T.: II Cor. 11:26]
See : Bravery Cos. is asking for a 73% increase in its medical malpractice Improper, unskilled, or negligent treatment of a patient by a physician, dentist, nurse, pharmacist, or other health care professional. line in the state, he said.
Kevin Rehnberg, president of St. Paul's
"There is no question that medical malpractice across all fronts is in great difficulty, with a 135 combined ratio," Rehnberg said. Driving the need to raise rates are increasing loss costs, increasing severity of claims and certain larger cases and judicial inflation. (See "A Downward Spiral," page 65.)
St. Paul has raised its medmal rates between 5% and 65% across 22 states so far. The company is seeking rate increases in 28 states.
State Farm Group said it hasn't backed away from doing business in Mississippi, but it is keeping an eye on the litigation.
"Courts continue to have more liberal reading of our policies. Juries are awarding significant amounts... that gives us concern," said Greg Geren, a State Farm spokesman.
Nationwide Group also has concern. "There is an unfavorable legal climate in Mississippi, and when we do have excessive judgments, those costs have to be passed on to the policyholders through the rates," said Bob Sohovich, a Nationwide spokesman.