Historic Rates

Why Texas Physicians choose Cunningham Group:

  • Quotes from the leading Medical Malpractice Insurers in Texas.
  • Physician Discounts Available: Risk Management, Claims-free, New to Practice.
  • Prior Acts Coverage is included. It is not necessary to purchase separate tail coverage.
  • Our veteran liability specialists shape your policy to fit your needs.
    You can read what your colleagues have to say about or pricing and service. We stand above the rest.
  • Free Practice Tools: Online Patient Satisfaction Survey System, Certified Professional Healthcare Risk Manager (CPHRM) on staff, plus many other tools to help your practice succeed and thrive.
  • We’ve teamed up with the Medical Liability Monitor — the nation’s leading independent source of Medical Liability Insurance news as well as the political, legal and risk management issues that affect the healthcare industry –to publish historic rate data for every county in the Lone Star State. This information offers insight into Texas’ data trends when making an informed decision on your medical malpractice insurance coverage and carrier. Just another reason why Cunningham Group is the preferred online site for Texas physicians, medical groups and healthcare professionals looking to lower their insurance rates and find the best coverage.
    The Texas Liability Market for Physicians

    Texas is a shining example of the positive effect comprehensive tort reform can have on medical malpractice insurance premiums. And, in response to shrinking medical malpractice insurance rates, doctors are flocking to practice in the state.

    Texas has long had a physician-friendly legal system. In 1989, Texas lawmakers made it a requirement that juries be instructed that a bad medical outcome does not necessarily equate to negligence and also indemnified emergency room physicians and OB/Gyns for the first $100,000 of any finding of error.

    In 2003, the Texas state government doubled-down on its tort reforms, passing sweeping liability legislation and successfully ushering through a ballot initiative that validated its ability to set noneconomic damage caps. This ceiling on noneconomic damages is at the heart of Texas’ success, capping pain-and-suffering compensation at $250,000 per occurrence for all healthcare workers; $250,000 per occurrence for hospitals; and a second $250,000 per occurrence for any other separate healthcare institution.

    Whereas, when other states pass noneconomic damage cap legislation, the medical professional liability insurers tend to take a wait-and-see approach prior to lowering premiums, Texas was able to sidestep the waiting game because its citizenry voted to affirm a constitutional amendment that enshrines the legislature’s authority to create noneconomic limits. This removes any argument by the judicial branch that such caps clash with any constitutional right to have damages decided by a jury. In 2010 alone, both Illinois’ and Georgia’s Supreme Courts struck down their noneconomic caps based on this reasoning.

    According to the Texas Medical Association, the ballot initiative’s success is attributable to a near constant grassroots effort. Because the trial lawyer lobby has deep pockets and is able to employ a team of professional lobbyists, it was crucial to create strong relationships at the local level, especially with the media. The TMA helped physicians write testimonials and letters to the editor as well as sponsored media training seminars for physicians looking to be the face of the reform movement.

    The effect on Texas medical malpractice insurance premiums was almost immediate. The largest medical malpractice insurance company iin Texas cut rates by 12 percent the year after the tort reforms passed, and—to date—malpractice insurance rates have fallen by 27.5 percent on average, while the number of doctors applying to practice in the state has grown by 60 percent.

    The influx of physicians has been a literal lifesaver in Texas. Once facing an access-to-care crisis, 82 counties have seen a net gain in emergency room physicians; 26 counties now have their first emergency room doctor; and more than 10, their first OB/Gyn. Hospitals are able to reinvest the malpractice insurance savings in scarce, high-risk services like neurosurgery and neonatal units.

    With medical malpractice insurance rates in a freefall, and the number of insurers writing medical liability coverage in the state growing, it is more important than ever to enlist the help of a reputable broker with access to every carrier. The broker with the greatest access to carriers has the ability to impartially shop for the best coverage at the most reasonable price point.

    Texas Builds Upon 2003 Tort reforms by Passing Loser Pays Legislation for Frivolous Lawsuits

    Upon election to his third term as the governor of Texas, Rick Perry kicked off the 2011 legislative session by urging lawmakers to build upon previous improvements to the state’s legal system by further expanding lawsuit reform. Specifically, Perry advocated for the creation of a “loser pays” court system that would ensure victims of frivolous lawsuits do not bear the financial burden of defending themselves.

    “Our 2003 medical lawsuit reforms improved patient access and the supply of medical professionals across our state, but more is needed to restrain frivolous lawsuits and personal injury lawyers,” Perry said. Despite the significant lawsuit reforms passed earlier this decade, Texans and Texas employers are still hit with frivolous lawsuits that cost thousands or even millions of dollars in legal fees to defend. It is time to introduce a higher degree of balance and accountability into our legal system.

    Pushed by Perry as an emergency priority for 2011, the “loser pays” legislation passed both houses of the Texas legislature in May.

    In addition to giving the Texas court system the power to require a plaintiff to pay the defendant’s attorney fees if a jury determines a suit is frivolous, it also sets up a fee-shifting mechanism penalizing lawsuit winners if they don’t win enough. If a plaintiff wins a judgment of less than 80 percent of a defendant’s settlement offer, the winner will still be obligated to pay the defendant’s legal fees. The legislation further creates an early dismissal option for frivolous lawsuits and establishes a system for expedited trials and limited discovery for claims between $10,000 and $100,000.
    This write-up of Texas was put together by Michael Matray, the Editor of the Medical Liability Monitor

    Resources for Doctors practicing in Texas