Your editorial calling for a look at the books of the insurance industry before more tort reforms are enacted is a simple-minded repetition of Ralph Nader's slogans for more government control of every business. It also shows gross ignorance of how this business is regulated.
You say the liability crisis is real, but incredibly go on to suggest that insurance companies may not need all that premium money. Any doubts about the high cost of the crisis, and its cause, can be resolved by looking at self-insured governmental entities, here or elsewhere, who pay no premiums to insurance companies and yet are staggered by the cost of lawsuits. It is a lawyer problem, not an insurance problem.
As for looking at the books, insurers provide the public with not only an annual report, as the Times Mirror Co. does for the Securities and Exchange Commission, but a much larger and more detailed report on our premiums, expenses, reserves, investments and income from those investments. In addition, we are audited regularly by the state.
ALLAN K. BRINEY
Dr. Briney is chairman of the board of governors of the Southern California Physicians Insurance Exchange.