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Arkansas Medical Malpractice Insurance

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Cunningham Group Insurance Services, Elmwood Park, IL

Cunningham Group is here for Arkansas Physicians & Medical Professionals

We are Medical Malpractice Insurance Specialists helping physicians, medical professionals and medical groups across specialties get medical malpractice coverage at cost-effective rates – as well as providing valuable tools and resources.

Founded in 1947, our experienced liability specialists will customize a policy to the specific needs of you and your practice.
Get all the physician discounts you are entitled to, including: Risk Management, Claims-free and New to Practice.
We ensure you receive Prior Acts, so you avoid purchasing separate tail malpractice coverage.
We publish historic rate data for every county in the State, in partnership with the Medical Liability Monitor – the nation’s leading independent source of Medical Liability Insurance and healthcare industry news.
Access to ALL MD, our network of Connecticut healthcare defense lawyers. Free Practice Tools, including Online Patient Satisfaction Survey System and Risk Management tools.
Experience excellent customer service with our dedicated account team.

Cunningham Group Has You Covered

On average, Cunningham Group saves Physicians and Medical Professionals 20% on their medical malpractice insurance.

2021 Arkansas Malpractice Insurance Marketplace Guide

Arkansas Med-Mal Fast Facts

  • Most Common Limits of Liability: $1 million/$3 million
  • Major Malpractice Insurers:
    • State Volunteer Mutual
    • Continental Casualty Co.
    • The Doctors Company
    • Medical Protective Co.
    • Arkansas Mutual Insurance Co.
  • Cost of Medical Malpractice Insurance: Low
  • Pending State Legislation in 2021 that could affect your rates?: No

The Arkansas Malpractice Landscape

Arkansas premiums are relatively low in comparison to other states. There are a variety of carriers, and the Arkansas State Legislature has also passed many medical liability reforms over the years, though some of these have been challenged and reversed in court. Arkansas has a lower number of claims per 100 physicians than the national average, according to data from the National Practitioner Databank (NPDB). In 2014, Arkansas had 0.51 claims per 100 physicians, compared with the national average of 0.93. The Natural State also had lower malpractice payments per capita than the national average, at $6.78 per resident, compared with $11.35 nationally.

Tort Reform in Arkansas

Arkansas enjoyed moderate premiums until the early 2000s, when rates began to climb upwards due to increased claims frequency and unpredictable jury verdicts. In 2001, Arkansas saw the largest tort verdict in the state’s history when a jury awarded $78 million to the Estate of Margaretha Sauer, a resident of the Rich Mountain Nursing & Rehabilitation Center who died from dehydration after receiving no food or water for a 24-to-48 hour period. The verdict included $63 million in punitive damages. The following year, the nation’s healthcare community suffered a shock when the St. Paul Companies exited the medical malpractice insurance market. At the time, St. Paul was the largest insurer of medical liability in the United States, and the company held a 55-percent market share in Arkansas. Many smaller insurers followed suit, and with fewer carriers competing, malpractice insurance premiums began to climb at a rate not seen in more than 25 years.

In response to the looming crisis, the Arkansas Medical Society took it upon itself to draft legislation to deflate premiums, boost the number of doctors practicing in the state and improve patient access to medical care. The resulting Civil Justice Reform Act—or HB 1038—was embraced in bipartisan fashion, being sponsored by two Democrats in the legislature and signed into law by a Republican governor. The act put limits on venue shopping and raised the standard for the imposition of punitive damages to “clear and convincing evidence” of actual fraud, malice or willful and wanton conduct, among other reforms. The Act also capped punitive damages to $250,000 or three times compensatory damages, whichever was greater—not to exceed $1 million. The punitive damage cap was declared unconstitutional by the Arkansas Supreme Court in 2011.

In April 2016, the Arkansas attorney general certified a ballot title for a proposed constitutional amendment that would limit damages in medical malpractice lawsuits. However, the Arkansas Supreme Court ruled on October 13, 2016 that the measure should be left off the ballot, as important terms such as “non-economic damages” were left undefined and would not be readily understood by voters. The measure did ultimately appear on the November 8th ballot, but the Arkansas Secretary of State was instructed to neither count nor certify the results.

Rather than give up, state Sen. Missy Irvin filed a measure on Feb. 2, 2017, to place a constitutional amendment before the state’s voters in 2018. In addition to capping damages awarded in civil actions at $250,000, the measure would give the legislature over rules that affect pleading, practice and procedure in the judicial branch. Opponents of the resolution argue that it raises questions about Arkansas’ separation of powers.

In 2018 — for the second time in as many election cycles — the Arkansas Supreme Court barred election officials from counting votes for a ballot measure that would have capped damages in medical liability lawsuits because it unconstitutionally proposed four separate constitutional amendments to voters in one ballot measure and would have altered the balance of power in the Arkansas Constitution without informing voters of the fact. In addition to setting a $500,000 cap on noneconomic damages in tort cases such as medical malpractice and nursing home negligence, Issue 1 would have limited attorney fees to a third of net recovery, allowed the legislature to enact court rules and lowered the vote percentage necessary for the legislature to change a court rule from two-thirds to 60 percent. “The actual text of (the ballot measure) itself, even by a generous reading, institutes at least seven individual numerated changes or additions to the constitution that would significantly alter the status quo,” wrote Justice Jo Hart in the Court’s 6-1 ruling. The Arkansas Supreme Court blocked a similar initiative from the 2016 ballot because the language outlining the plan did not fully describe what the proposal would do.

Does Arkansas have…

  • Damage Caps? No
  • Patient Compensation Fund? No
  • Apology Law? No
  • Collateral Source Reform? No
  • Periodic Payments? Yes, mandatory if future damages exceed $100,000 and either party requests it.
  • Joint Liability Reform? No
  • Limits on Plaintiff Attorney’s Fees? No

Medical Malpractice Rates in Arkansas


Medical malpractice rates in Arkansas are moderate. The state has a variety of carriers, and premiums have come down since medical liability reforms were passed in the 2000s. The market has been stable in recent years, despite the Arkansas Supreme Court striking down some of the state’s reform measures.

Get Historic Rates

By combining our efforts with those of 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 – we’ve published historic rate data for every county in the Natural State. You can view all the rates by completing the three simple steps on the left of this page. You’ll find the insights offered by this information invaluable when making your decision on your medical malpractice insurance coverage and carriers. This is only one of the many reasons that Cunningham Group Insurance has become the preferred online source for Arkansas physicians, healthcare professionals and medical groups looking to find the best coverage and lower their medical malpractice insurance rates.

Coverage by Arkansas County

Rates are the same across Arkansas’ 75 counties. Physicians practicing in Pulaski County, which includes Little Rock, or Washington County, where Fayetteville is located, will pay the same low rates as those in Calhoun County and other rural parts of the state.

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