One thing all physicians worry about is being slapped with a malpractice suit.
No matter how much effort you put into ensuring that the proper procedures are followed, sometimes you just can’t prevent things from going south.
There could be various reasons someone may file a claim against you. It could be because an operation was unsuccessful, but the person may believe it was your mistake. Other times, you could be at fault due to a genuine mistake.
Either way, it can cost you thousands of dollars to defend yourself against such claims.
To protect yourself from immense financial losses in such situations, it is necessary to have the proper malpractice insurance.
But what is it? What does it cover? How much does it cost? Which company do I choose?
Medical Malpractice Insurance
Also known as professional liability insurance, medical malpractice insurance protects physicians against malpractice claims and lawsuits against them.
You could be forced to pay for out of pocket for any damages without it.
While malpractice insurance is not required in most states, it’s highly recommended for the following:
- Physical Therapists
Medical Malpractice Insurance Cost
How much is medical malpractice insurance? It depends. There are many factors (specialty, state, coverage type and insurer claim limits) to consider when it comes to determining your malpractice insurance cost, we cannot say for sure what it will cost.
But what we can do is provide some averages and examples to give you a range of what you can expect to pay.
Basic medical malpractice insurance costs range from $4-12,000 per year, depending on their specialty and area of expertise.
Figure around $8,000 per year on average.
Surgeons on the other hand can pay $30-50,000 per year.
Obstetricians tend to pay the highest rates of all. For example, an OB/GYN in New York pays over $200,000 per year.
Medical Malpractice Insurance Coverage
In the event that a patient sues you, medical malpractice insurance can cover a variety of expenses when it comes to defending, settling and paying damages.
- Attorney Fees
- Court Costs
- Arbitration Costs
- Settlement Costs
- Medical Damages
Medical Malpractice Insurance Types
There are 2 types of medical malpractice insurance policies:
- Claims-Made Policy
- Occurrence-Made Policy
First, claims-made policies provide you with coverage only if the claim was filed and the incident occurred within the effective dates of the policy. These polices tend to be cheaper than occurrence-made policies. But, you always run the risk that a claim may occur after your policy has expired.
It’s important to note that some claims-made policies will allow you to purchase tail coverage. It’s expensive, but it can give you added protection by extending the policy, which is typically 5-10 years after the policy ends. Many medical professionals choose to purchase tail coverage when they change insurance policies, accept a new position or even retire.
Second, occurrence-made policies, would cover you if the event happened any time during the effective dates of the policy. Therefore, a claim made any time after the policy has ended would be covered. This type of malpractice insurance policy would be the most expensive.
Top 10 Medical Malpractice Insurance Companies
Without further ado here are the top 10 medical malpractice insurance companies you should consider:
1. Berkshire Hathaway Group
The Berkshire Hathaway Group tops the list of malpractice medical insurance companies due to its far-sighted investments and financial strength. What makes it even more reliable is that it now owns Medical Protective Company, which is the oldest malpractice insurance carrier and has been prominent in the healthcare community since 1899. With immense experience and a prudent mindset, Berkshire Hathaway Group is hard to defeat.
2. The Doctors Company
The Doctors Company was founded in the 1970s during the infamous California medical malpractice insurance crisis. The ongoing issues at the time gave the company a clearly defined mission: Good medicine practice should be protected, advanced, and rewarded. It is a great option for medical professionals across all states. Additionally, it also offers a loyalty program, which may come in handy if you have to move states in the future.
3. ProAssurance Corporation
ProAssurance Corporation has a history of having one of the highest financial strength amount healthcare providers in the business. Based in Birmingham, AL, it has several policies that can be utilized by doctors and surgeons of various specialties, including OB-GYNs, radiologists, and general surgeons. Additionally, ProAssurance Corporation has also announced that it will be acquiring NORCAL Mutual Insurance Company in the near future. Considering NORCAL has been among the top 10 medical malpractice insurance companies in the past, this will only strengthen ProAssurance Corporations in the future.
4. CNA Insurance Group
CNA Insurance Company is another prominent malpractice insurance company in the country for medical professionals of all specialties. However, a major factor to take into consideration is the Nurses Service Organization policies it offers, which are some of the very few policies that are catered to the nurses in the country. In addition to malpractice insurance liability, it also offers health, dental, term life, and disability insurance.
What sets Coverys apart from the rest is that it consists of a group of carriers, which include ProMutual Group Inc., Medical Professional Mutual Insurance Company, ProSelect Insurance Company, and Healthcare Underwriters Group, Inc., among others. Therefore, you can find a carrier suitable for your specialties and needs. It offers service in Michigan, Rhode Island, North Dakota, and New Hampshire.
Despite being based in Atlanta, MagMutual Insurance Company covers over 30,000 physicians and healthcare organizations throughout the country. It is widely considered to be one the best insurance carriers in the country and also has various subsidiaries, including MagMutual RRG for New York Doctors and Professional Security Insurance Company.
7. MCIC Vermont
One of the most crucial aspects of a strong insurance company is how they create and implement their policies in the near and far future. With four decades worth of experience, MCIC Vermont hasn’t just created but constantly worked to improve its policies in the long run. It has the foresight to manage risks and promote cost savings.
8. Liberty Mutual Group
Rated the 6th largest insurer globally due to various policies in 2020, Liberty Mutual Group isn’t just one of the best medical malpractice insurance in the country but the whole world as well. It covers over 29 countries and economies in the world, which can be useful if you ever have to move countries in the future.
9. Chubb Group
Operating in 54 countries worldwide, Chubb is the largest publicly traded P&C insurance company in the world. Its coverage includes civil liability claims that arise from an act, omission, or error in the provision of healthcare services, as well as the legal representation costs that are incurred during the process. And with the Chubb Elite Medical Malpractice policy, you can get a suitable policy according to your requirements without any issues.
10. MMIC Insurance
Lastly, MMIC Insurance offers insurance coverage as well as patient safety solutions. It is a part of Constellation Insurance Companies and operates mainly in Arkansas Mutual, Midwest, and surrounding areas. If you practice in one of these localities, MMIC may be one of the best options for you.
To ensure that you receive the best coverage, it is essential to pick the right medical malpractice insurance company.
A reputable company will offer tailor-made policies that will match your needs and requirements. In addition to that, they will offer competitive rates, multiple coverage options, and high financial ratings.