ASSEMBLY, No. 3665

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

215th LEGISLATURE

INTRODUCED JANUARY 14, 2013

 


 

Sponsored by:

Assemblyman  HERB CONAWAY, JR.

District 7 (Burlington)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Prohibits insurers from increasing premiums or making other adverse underwriting decisions with respect to medical malpractice liability insurance under certain circumstances.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

 


An Act concerning medical malpractice liability insurance and amending P.L.2004, c.17.

 

     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1.    Section 17 of P.L.2004, c.17 (C.17:30D-22) is amended to read as follows:

     17.  a. Notwithstanding any other law or regulation to the contrary, an insurer authorized to transact medical malpractice liability insurance in this State shall not increase the premium of any medical malpractice liability insurance policy based on a claim of medical negligence or malpractice against the insured if:

     (1)   the insured is dismissed from an action alleging medical malpractice [within 180 days of the filing of the last responsive pleading] or the claim does not result in a settlement, judgment, or arbitration award against the insured;

     (2)   the alleged medical malpractice occurred in any case in which the insured performed any treatment or procedure on a charitable basis, without consideration; or

     (3)   the alleged medical malpractice occurred in any case in which the insured provided emergency assistance pursuant to section 10 of P.L 2004, c. 17 (2A:62A-1.3), whether or not for consideration.

      b.   Notwithstanding any other law or regulation to the contrary, an insurer authorized to transact medical malpractice liability insurance in this State shall not refuse to issue, cancel, or nonrenew a medical malpractice insurance policy or make any other adverse underwriting decision with respect to a medical malpractice liability insurance policy, solely on the basis that the insured or prospective insured is a party to an action alleging medical malpractice provided: (1) the insured or prospective insured is dismissed from the action; or (2) the claim does not result in a settlement, judgment, or arbitration award against the insured.

      c.   For the purposes of this section, “claim” means any demand received by an insured seeking damages that results from a medical incident, or an insured’s notice to the insurer of a specific professional services act or omission that the insured reasonably believes may result in a demand for damages.

(cf: P.L.2004, c.17, s.17)

 

     2.    This act shall take effect immediately and shall apply to policies of medical malpractice liability insurance issued or renewed on or after the effective date of the act.


STATEMENT

 

      This bill revises the current law concerning medical malpractice insurance premium increases in certain cases. Section 17 of P.L.2004, c.17 (C.17:30D-22) currently provides that a medical malpractice liability insurer shall not increase the premium of any medical malpractice liability insurance policy based on a claim of medical negligence or malpractice if the insured is dismissed from the action alleging malpractice within 180 days of the filing of the last responsive pleading.  This bill amends that statute to provide that an insurer also shall not increase the premium of any medical malpractice liability insurance policy based on a claim of medical negligence or malpractice against an insured unless the claim, as defined in the bill, results in a medical malpractice claim settlement, judgment or arbitration award against the insured. The bill further prohibits an insurer from increasing medical malpractice insurance premiums if the alleged malpractice occurred in certain charitable or emergency situations.  The requirement that the insured be dismissed from the action within 180 days of the filing of the last responsive pleading is eliminated.

      The bill further revises the current statute by prohibiting a medical malpractice liability insurer from refusing to issue, cancelling, or not renewing a medical malpractice liability insurance policy, or making any other adverse underwriting decision with respect to such a policy, solely on the basis that the insured or prospective insured is a party to an action alleging medical malpractice provided: the insured or prospective insured is dismissed from the action; or the claim does not result in a settlement, judgment, or arbitration award against the insured.

      The bill defines “claim” as any demand received by an insured seeking damages that results from a medical incident, or an insured’s notice to the insurer of a specific professional services act or omission that the insured reasonably believes may result in a demand for damages.