Arkansas Malpractice Insurance

Arkansas malpractice insurance premiums are low when compared to other states. There are a number of carriers offering coverage, and the Arkansas State Legislature has also passed many medical liability reforms over the years. Arkansas has a lower number of claims per 100 physicians than the national average, according to data from the National Practitioner Databank (NPDB).

Our 2021 Physician Buyers Guide for purchasing malpractice insurance in Arkansas gives you the information necessary to obtain the strongest, most financially secure policy at the best price. When shopping for coverage, you need a full view of the Arkansas marketplace to find the company that best fits your situation. Choose a broker that can offer multiple medical malpractice insurance quotes from all the major insurance companies in Arkansas.

How to buy malpractice insurance in Arkansas

The best way to buy malpractice coverage is to work with a reputable malpractice insurance broker in Arkansas who can generate multiple quotes. Your broker will walk you through the lengthy insurance application and underwriting process. Click to get medical malpractice insurance quotes from every major Arkansas malpractice insurance company.

Typically, the malpractice insurance purchasing process goes like this:

  1. Submit your information for your free medical malpractice insurance quote from every major insurance company in Arkansas.
  2. One of our veteran malpractice insurance agents who specializes in the Arkansas market will contact you to learn more about your specific needs.
  3. We shop your coverage to every major insurance company in Arkansas.
  4. We present you with a number of insurance quotes and give you the information necessary to make an educated and informed decision. Don’t worry. We’re here every step of the way, helping you get the best price with the best company.
  5. At renewal time, we restart the process of shopping your coverage among every major carrier to keep your policy properly priced.

How to save money on your malpractice insurance

  • The easiest way to save money on your medical malpractice insurance policy is by working with a broker who has the access to generate quotes from every major insurance company, offering an accurate view of the marketplace. As one of the top brokers in Arkansas, we can guide you through the application and underwriting process so you’re confident you secured the best price with the right insurer for your situation.
  • The most common limits in Arkansas are $1 million/$3 million. Limits of liability play a major role in determining the overall cost of your policy. Some companies will offer lower limits to save you money. We don’t recommend this. We want your risks fully indemnified so you never have to pay an award out of pocket. Let us save you money by shopping your coverage rather than skimp on protection..
  • Check out our 7 secrets your medical malpractice insurance agent won’t tell you page to get insider information on buying physician malpractice coverage in Arkansas.

How much does medical malpractice insurance cost in Arkansas?

Rates for physician malpractice insurance don’t vary much depending on where you practice within the state. Most major insurance companies classify Arkansas as a single territory, which means your specialty’s base rate does not vary depending on your practice address. But you still want multiple quotes to get an accurate view of the marketplace. This is one of the many reasons it’s important to work with an insurance agency that specializes in medical malpractice insurance. Below are mature, base rates with no credits or discounts. We typically get our clients a 30-50% reduction from these rates:

Arkansas

  • Internal Medicine Average Rate $5,513
  • General Surgeon Average Rate $19,663
  • OB/gyn – Average Rate $29,823
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Medical malpractice requirements in Arkansas

Limits of Liability: The most common limits of liability in Arkansas are $1 million per claim with an annual aggregate cap of $3 million.

Most hospitals require a physician carry malpractice insurance prior to granting admitting privileges. Some of the hospital systems requiring this include, but are not limited to, Baptist Health Medical Center, St. Bernards and UAMS Medical Center.

Best Medical malpractice insurance companies in Arkansas

  1. Medical Protective
  2. The Doctors Company
  3. NORCAL
  4. ProAssurance

Why partner with Cunningham Group?

Partnering with Cunningham Group will give you a full view of the Arkansas marketplace. We can get you quotes from all the major insurance companies and help you choose the policy that best fits your needs and budget. Our veteran insurance agents average 10+ years of industry experience. Let us help you secure medical malpractice insurance quotes from every major insurance company in Arkansas.

Historic Medical Malpractice Insurance Rates in Arkansas for Physicians

Brief History and other important facts of medical malpractice insurance 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 $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. A thesis written by Ruby Dean titled Medical Malpractice Compensation Reform goes into greater detail if you want to learn more.