Pennsylvania Malpractice Insurance
Table of Contents
- How to buy malpractice insurance in Pennsylvania.
- How to save money on your malpractice insurance.
- How much does medical malpractice insurance cost in Pennsylvania?
- Medical malpractice requirements in Pennsylvania.
- Best medical malpractice insurance companies in Pennsylvania.
- Why partner with Cunningham Group in Pennsylvania?
- Historic medical malpractice insurance rates in Pennsylvania – since 2000
- History of malpractice insurance in Pennsylvania.
- Resources for Physicians.
Pennsylvania Malpractice Insurance
Pennsylvania has expensive medical malpractice insurance premiums.
Our 2021 Physician Buyers Guide for purchasing malpractice insurance in Pennsylvania gives you the information necessary to obtain the strongest, most financially secure policy at the best price. This is especially important because Pennsylvania has established MCARE. When shopping for coverage, you need a full view of the Pennsylvania 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 Pennsylvania.
How to buy malpractice insurance in Pennsylvania.
The best way to buy malpractice coverage is to work with a reputable malpractice insurance broker in Pennsylvania 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 Pennsylvania 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 Pennsylvania.
- One of our veteran malpractice insurance agents who specializes in the Pennsylvania market will contact you to learn more about your specific needs.
- We shop your coverage to every major insurance company in Pennsylvania.
- 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 Pennsylvania, 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 Pennsylvania are $500,000 /$1.5 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 Pennsylvania.
How much does medical malpractice insurance cost in Pennsylvania.
Rates in Pennsylvania vary greatly dependent on where you practice. For example, a general surgeon in Philadelphia (Philadelphia County) could see an annual malpractice premium of $49,500. That same general surgeon could move their medical practice to Scranton (Lackawanna County) and see their malpractice premium drop to $41,000. 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 $11,326
- General Surgeon Average Rate $95,637
- OB/gyn – Average Rate $51,320
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 Pennsylvania.
Limits of Liability: The most common limits of liability in Pennsylvania are $500,000 per claim with an annual aggregate cap of $1.5 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, UPMC Magee-Womens Hospital in Pittsburgh, Chestnut Hill Hospital in Philly, and Crozer-Chester in Upland.
Pennsylvania does have an MCARE Fund in place. (Read more)
Best Medical malpractice insurance companies in Pennsylvania.
- Medical Protective
- The Doctors Company
- ProAssurance Indemnity Co.
Why partner with Cunningham Group?
Partnering with Cunningham Group will give you a full view of the Pennsylvania 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 company was founded in Pennsylvania, and this is where our headquarters is located. We know Pennsylvania better than any broker in the state. Our veteran insurance agents average 15+ years of industry experience. Let us help you secure medical malpractice insurance quotes from every major insurance company in Pennsylvania.
Historic Medical Malpractice Insurance Rates in Pennsylvania for Physicians.
Brief History and other important facts of medical malpractice insurance in Pennsylvania.
In the early 1970s, Pennsylvania faced the same malpractice crisis that was affecting many U.S. states. Premiums were skyrocketing, and the commonwealth’s then-largest medical liability insurer, Argonaut, threatened to stop writing policies altogether. In 1975, Argonaut sought to increase premiums by 200 percent for many specialties. In response, the Pennsylvania Medical Society and General Assembly worked together to pass the Health Care Services Malpractice Act (Act 111) of 1975, becoming one of the first states to pass wide-ranging legislative reforms in response to the medical liability crisis gripping the country. The act created the Medical Professional Catastrophic Loss (CAT) Fund. The CAT Fund was the United States’ first public patient compensation fund (PCF), a state-established liability-funding instrument that provides medical professional liability coverage in excess of a physician’s primary insurance limits. Several other provisions to restrict attorney fees, mandate arbitration panels and establish a collateral source rule were also included, but these were found to be unconstitutional by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.
Pennsylvania has continued to reform its medical liability system since Act 111 was passed. In 1996, legislation limiting punitive damages to $100,000 was passed, CAT Fund surcharges were reduced, physicians were allowed to provide affidavits of non-involvement, meaning that they could swear under oath that they were not involved in a case and be cleared of wrongdoing and a four-year moratorium was placed on further medical liability legislation. However, difficulties in the Pennsylvania market continued, with three of the five major malpractice insurers in the state ceasing to write in Pennsylvania by the early 2000s. In response, the Medical Care Availability & Reduction of Error Act (Mcare) was passed in 2002. Its reforms were comprehensive, addressing both medical errors in the healthcare system and reforms to the legal system and the medical malpractice industry.
The Mcare Act sought to emphasize patient safety and reduce medical errors, creating a Patient Safety Authority and requiring all hospitals to incorporate detailed patient safety plans. It also included a range of legal reforms to restrict frivolous law suits by instituting stronger expert witness qualifications and sanctioning lawyers who brought frivolous claims. Additionally, Mcare restructured the states CATFund, renaming it the Mcare Fund and equipping it with $400 million in state subsidies to reduce physician assessments. It also increased assessments for doctors with excessive claims and required insurers to offer patient-safety discounts and credits.
In 2018, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court made a decision that has significantly changed the scope of what is available in the discovery process for medical liability lawsuits, making it easier for plaintiffs to obtain materials related to physician performance and credentials. These materials were previously considered protected from discovery by the commonwealth’s Peer Review Protection Act (PRPA), which gave increased protection to healthcare professionals and review panel evaluations of physician performance that investigate possible malpractice incidences. The PRPA considered materials that are prepared as part of a peer review process privileged and protected from discovery. However, in the 2018 decision of Reginelli v. Boggs, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court held that the PRPA does not extend protection from disclosure to a non-licensed, third-party entity or committees or individuals reviewing physician credentials. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court found the protective privilege of the PRPA did not apply to Bogg’s “performance file,” which was authored by his supervising doctor at the hospital. The court came to this conclusion because the hospital itself was not “approved, licensed or otherwise regulated to practice or operate in the healthcare field under the laws of the Commonwealth,” and because the performance file was a review of Boggs’s credentials, which does not fall within the PRPA’s evidentiary privilege. This holding has the potential to have widespread effects on the materials that are discoverable and likely opens the door for plaintiffs to seek additional reports and files during discovery.
In 2019, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, in a 4-3 decision, struck down the seven-year statute of repose contained in the Mcare Act as unconstitutional. Mcare’s statute of repose had limited the application of the discovery rule to seven years. After seven years, the statute of repose barred the patient’s ability to bring action. Prior to this decision, the only exceptions to the seven-year limitation were for minors and/or those who suffered injuries caused by a foreign body unintentionally left behind. Now, there is no absolute time limitation on discovery. The court reasoned that Mcare’s statute of repose conflicted with the “open courts” provision in the Pennsylvania Constitution, which guarantees that “all courts shall be open; and every man for any injury done to him in his lands, goods, person or reputation shall remedy due course of law.” Medical professionals and their insurers now face potential exposure for claims long after treatment is rendered.
Tort Reform in Pennsylvania
Tort reform has been carried out many times in the Quaker State, including the establishment of the first patient compensation fund in the United States, known as the CAT Fund and later reformulated as the Mcare Fund. However, Pennsylvania has been unsuccessful in creating damage caps, which are often considered the ‘holy grail’ of medical liability reform. Though many important provisions have been made to improve the medical liability system, physicians still face high rates throughout the state.
Currently, all Pennsylvania physicians are required to participate in Mcare. Physicians are legally required to maintain limits of $1 million/$3 million, with a primary private policy of $500,000/$1.5 million. The rest of the coverage is provided through Mcare, which provides up to an additional $500,000 of excess coverage per claim. Physicians must pay into the Mcare Fund, but it is generally less expensive than private policies. By state law, Pennsylvania must reevaluate the Mcare Fund every two years, with the plan of eventually closing the fund. This will be done gradually, with private insurers retaining more and more of the $1 million limit until they eventually reach 100 percent.