Florida Malpractice Insurance
Table of Contents
- How to buy malpractice insurance in Florida.
- How to save money on your malpractice insurance.
- How much does medical malpractice insurance cost in Florida?
- Medical malpractice requirements in Florida.
- Best medical malpractice insurance companies in Florida.
- Why partner with Cunningham Group in Florida?
- Historic medical malpractice insurance rates in Florida – since 2000.
- History of malpractice insurance in Florida.
- Resources for Physicians.
Florida Malpractice Insurance
Florida has some of the highest malpractice insurance rates and most generous jury verdicts in the country. According to the Institute for Legal Reform’s (ILR) 2019 Lawsuit Climate Survey, Florida ranked 46 out of the 50 states on the fairness and reasonableness of its state liability system. Malpractice insurance in Florida ranges greatly from county to county, and we see some of the highest premiums coming out of the Miami-Dade area.
Our 2021 Physician Buyers Guide for purchasing malpractice insurance in Florida 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 Florida marketplace to find the company that best fits your situation. Choose a broker that can offer multiple quotes from all the major malpractice insurance companies in Florida.
How to buy malpractice insurance in Florida.
The best way to buy malpractice coverage is to work with a reputable malpractice insurance broker in Florida 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 Florida malpractice insurance company.
Typically, the malpractice insurance purchasing process goes like this:
- Submit your information for your free medical malpractice insurance quote from every major insurance company in Florida.
- One of our veteran malpractice insurance agents who specializes in the Florida market will contact you to learn more about your specific needs.
- We shop your coverage to every major insurance company in Florida.
- 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.
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 Florida, 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 Florida are $250,000/$750,000 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 coverage in Florida.
How much does medical malpractice insurance cost in Florida?
Rates vary greatly within Florida dependent on which county you practice within. For example, a plastic surgeon in Miami (Dade County) could see an annual malpractice premium of $125,000. That same plastic surgeon could move his medical practice to Palm Beach County and see their malpractice premium drop to $75,000. 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:
- Internal Medicine Average Rate $15,436
- General Surgeon Average Rate $49,942
- OB/gyn – Average Rate $66,373
The cost of your malpractice coverage can vary greatly due to a number of factors, including your claims history, the type of patient interactions you have, the insurance company you are placed with and more. Cunningham Group created this premium estimation tool by drawing from its database of thousands of physician clients. Below are five malpractice estimation premium buckets to gauge how expensive your coverage should be. The buckets are numbered 1 to 5 — with #1 being the least expensive and #5 the most costly.
Medical malpractice requirements in Florida.
Limits of Liability: The most common limits of liability in Florida are $250,00 per claim with an annual aggregate cap of $750,000.
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, Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami, AdventHealth Orlando, UF Health Shands Hospital in Gainesville and Tampa General.
Best Medical malpractice insurance companies in Florida
- The Doctors Company
- Medical Protective
Why partner with Cunningham Group?
Partnering with Cunningham Group will give you a full view of the Florida 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 Florida.
Historic Medical Malpractice Insurance Rates in Florida for Physicians.
Brief History and other important facts of medical malpractice insurance in Florida.
Though tort reforms were passed in 2003 to help change this situation, Florida is still known for being an expensive state to practice in. According to the American Society for Healthcare Risk Management, in 2015, the cost of defending a medical malpractice claim in Florida was 2.9 times the national average and, in 2014, the average amount of a malpractice payment in Florida was $299,800, compared to a national average of $242,000.
Florida does have a variety of insurers offering medical malpractice coverage, as well as the ability for doctors to ‘go bare.’ These factors have helped keep Florida premiums lower than they might have been otherwise. However, parts of the 2003 tort reform package have been overturned in recent years, leading to greater uncertainty in the marketplace.
Tort Reform in Florida
Efforts to reform the medical liability system in Florida date back to the mid-1980s. The first success arising from these efforts was a 1988 law which created an arbitration system and capped non-economic damages for cases that used arbitration. However, since very few plaintiffs agreed to use arbitration, this part of the law was not very effective. The 1988 bill also required that an expert medical opinion be submitted when filing a medical malpractice lawsuit, which may have helped to limit frivolous lawsuits.
Tort reform was not attempted again with any success until 2003, when sweeping reforms limiting non-economic damages were passed during a special session of the legislature. The legislation limited noneconomic damages to $500,000 or $1,000,000, depending on the circumstances of the case. In March 2014, the Florida Supreme Court struck down the cap on damages in cases that result in a patient’s death.
Three years later, in June of 2017, the Florida Supreme Court ruled that the cap on damages was unconstitutional in all medical malpractice cases. The four-member majority found caps on non-economic damages violate equal protection rights, are arbitrary and have had little effect on reducing medical malpractice insurance premiums.
The Florida Supreme Court took another whack at the state’s medical liability tort reforms in November 2017 when it rejected a 2013 law involving an issue known as “ex parte” communications between doctors and defense attorneys. The Court found that Florida’s Constitutional privacy rights extend beyond death. This means that medical malpractice defense attorneys can no longer interview alleged victims’ previous healthcare providers in private while investigating the claim of negligence.
The Florida Supreme Court’s June 2017 ruling that damage caps are unconstitutional left in place a portion of a medical malpractice tort reform statute that requires “when a plaintiff succeeds at trial but had previously rejected a defendant’s offer to voluntarily arbitrate the claim, the plaintiff’s noneconomic damages are capped at $350,000.” But in the 2018 case of DeFranko v. Poole, Judge Jose Rodriguez denied a defense motion to reduce a jury verdict for noneconomic damages from $500,000 to $350,000 because the defense offered to arbitrate the claim, further chipping away at Florida’s tort reform laws that cap noneconomic damages in medical professional liability actions. Rodriguez refused to reduce the jury verdict for noneconomic damages due to the plaintiff rejecting a defense offer to arbitrate the claim, finding that the arbitration portion of the state’s medical liability laws likewise violates the equal protection clause of the Florida Constitution.
In a positive development for physicians, the Supreme Court of Florida changed course from its 2017 rejection of the Daubert standard for expert testimony in favor of the Frye standard, and ruled that, effective immediately, Daubert is now the governing standard in Florida for admissibility of expert testimony.
The Court’s ruling is the latest development in a long running dispute regarding whether the modern Daubert standard or the older, more lenient Frye standard should be the governing rule in Florida for admissibility of expert testimony. In 2013, the Florida Legislature adopted amendments to the Florida Evidence Code to bring Florida in line with federal courts and a majority of other states that follow Daubert. However, in 2017, the Florida Supreme Court declined to adopt the Daubert Amendment as a rule of court to the extent it was procedural.