Oklahoma Malpractice Insurance
Table of Contents
- How to buy medical malpractice insurance in Oklahoma.
- How to save money on your malpractice insurance.
- How much does medical malpractice insurance cost in Oklahoma?
- Medical malpractice requirements in Oklahoma.
- Best medical malpractice insurance companies in Oklahoma.
- Why partner with Cunningham Group in Oklahoma?
- Historic medical malpractice insurance rates in Oklahoma – since 2000.
- History of malpractice insurance in Oklahoma.
- Resources for Physicians.
Oklahoma Malpractice Insurance
Malpractice insurance rates for Oklahoma are relatively moderate. Though more than 50% of Oklahoma physicians are insured through one of two companies (PLICO and Medical Protective), there are many other carriers in the state and rates can be competitive.
Our 2021 Physician Buyers Guide for purchasing malpractice insurance in Oklahoma 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 Oklahoma 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 Oklahoma.
How to buy malpractice insurance in Oklahoma.
The best way to buy malpractice coverage is to work with a reputable malpractice insurance broker in Oklahoma 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 Oklahoma 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 Oklahoma.
- One of our veteran malpractice insurance agents who specializes in the Oklahoma market will contact you to learn more about your specific needs.
- We shop your coverage to every major insurance company in Oklahoma.
- 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 Oklahoma, 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 Oklahoma 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 coverage in Oklahoma.
How much does medical malpractice insurance cost in Oklahoma?
Rates for physician malpractice insurance don’t vary much depending on where you practice within the state. Most major insurance companies classify Oklahoma 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:
- Internal Medicine Average Rate $10,253
- General Surgeon Average Rate $35,072
- OB/gyn – Average Rate $39,281
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 Oklahoma.
Limits of Liability: The most common limits of liability in Oklahoma 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, Hillcrest Medical Center in Tulsa, INTEGRIS Southwest Medical Center in Oklahoma City and Mercy Hospital in Ardmore.
Best Medical malpractice insurance companies in Oklahoma.
- The Doctors Company
- Continental Casualty
Why partner with Cunningham Group?
Partnering with Cunningham Group will give you a full view of the Oklahoma marketplace. 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 Alabama.
Historic Medical Malpractice Insurance Rates in Oklahoma for Physicians.
Brief History and other important facts of medical malpractice insurance in Oklahoma.
Oklahoma passed several reforms to its medical liability system in the 2000s to try to keep premiums under control and stem the tide of physicians leaving to practice in neighboring states like Texas, where major reforms had already been instituted.
Oklahoma first passed reforms in 2003 through the Affordable Access to Healthcare Act, or SB 629, which was designed to improve the availability of healthcare services, lower the cost of medical malpractice insurance, ensure fair compensation for legitimate claims and improve the cost-effectiveness of the state’s medical liability system. The bill included a $350,000 cap on noneconomic damages for obstetric and emergency room cases, as those two specialties are most frequently associated with costly adverse medical events and therefore pay the highest premiums. The law also required that the plaintiff present an affidavit from a qualified expert stating he or she believes negligence occurred. The affidavit requirement was overturned by the Oklahoma Supreme Court in a 2006 ruling, as it was judged the affidavit requirement to be a “special law,” which is prohibited by the Oklahoma constitution, which does not allow one type of negligence case (medical malpractice) to be treated differently than all other negligence cases. In 2008, the noneconomic damage cap was overturned for similar reasoning, as the court noted it only applied to certain torts.
In 2009, Oklahoma passed the Comprehensive Lawsuit Reform Act, which sought to restore some of the earlier provisions, as well as institute new reforms. The new law set a noneconomic damage cap of $400,000 for medical malpractice cases (except in cases deemed “exceptional circumstances”) and reinstated the certificate of merit requirement (now for all civil liability cases). In 2011, the legislature strengthened the noneconomic cap, setting it at $350,000 and only allowing it to be pierced if the defendant acted in reckless disregard of the rights of others or acted with gross negligence, fraudulently and/or with intentional malice.
In 2013, the Comprehensive Lawsuit Reform Act was overturned as violating the single-subject rule in the Oklahoma Constitution. In legal terms, this is known as “logrolling,” meaning to pass a bill with multiple unrelated subjects. However, the $350,000 cap on noneconomic damages was not included in this ruling, as the Oklahoma Supreme Court judged that the 2011 amendment to the cap had made that part of the act constitutional.
In 2013, the Oklahoma Supreme Court found a similar certificate-of-merit requirement applied only to professional negligence cases and not general negligence cases. Therefore, the Court ruled, it violated the state constitutional ban on laws that create special requirements for certain plaintiffs who are pursuing essentially the same legal action as other plaintiffs.The Oklahoma Legislature responded by drafting and passing a revised bill that required a certificate-of-merit for all negligence cases that typically require expert witness testimony, not just professional negligence cases. It also stipulated that if a civil action for negligence is filed without the certificate-of-merit attached, the court would be required to dismiss the case upon a motion by the defendant. The new law did allow the court leeway to grant the plaintiff an extension of time to provide a certificate-of-merit if the plaintiff showed good cause and the requirement could be waived for plaintiffs who meet certain standards of financial need. This was not enough for the high court, and this time, the court ruled the certificate of merit law was unconstitutional because it “is an impermissible barrier to court access and an unconstitutional special law.”
In 2017, the Oklahoma Supreme Court declared a state law designed to deter the filing of frivolous medical professional liability lawsuits unconstitutional. The state’s high court has twice before — in 2006 and 2013 — struck down certificate-of-merit laws that require those who plan to file a lawsuit for professional negligence — including medical malpractice — file an expert affidavit certifying the merit of the case.
In a 5-3 opinion released in 2019, the Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled that the state’s $350,000 cap on recoverable noneconomic damages is unconstitutional.
According to the majority opinion in Beason v. I.E. Miller Services, Inc., the Court found the noneconomic damage cap to be an unconstitutional “special law” because it limited damages for only those who survive an accident and bring a civil lawsuit. The law did not limit damages for wrongful death lawsuits brought on behalf of the estates of persons killed in accidents. A statute is a “special law” when part of an entire class of similarly affected persons is segregated and targeted for different treatment and is prohibited by Article 5, Section 46 of the Oklahoma Constitution. The Justices noted that the Oklahoma Constitution explicitly forbids any limitation on the amount of recoverable damages for injuries resulting in death.