Washington State Malpractice Insurance

Malpractice insurance for physicians in Washington State is slightly more expensive than in surrounding states, but still moderate when compared to other parts of the country. Washington’s moderate medical malpractice climate is due to the large number of carriers offering coverage in the state and the relatively low number of paid claims against Washington physicians. 

Our 2021 Physician Buyers Guide for purchasing malpractice insurance in Washington State 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 Washington State 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 Washington State.

How to buy malpractice insurance in Washington State.

The best way to buy malpractice coverage is to work with a reputable malpractice insurance broker in Washington State 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 Washington 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 Washington St.
  2. One of our veteran malpractice insurance agents who specializes in the Washington State market will contact you to learn more about your specific needs.
  3. We shop your coverage to every major insurance company in Washington State.
  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 Washington State, 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 Washington State 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 Washington.

How much does medical malpractice insurance cost in Washington State?

Rates for physician malpractice insurance don’t vary much depending on where you practice within the state. Most major insurance companies classify Washington State 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:

Washington

  • Internal Medicine Average Rate $9,306
  • General Surgeon Average Rate $33,502
  • OB/gyn – Average Rate $48,709
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Medical malpractice requirements in Washington.

Limits of Liability: The most common limits of liability in Washington State are $1 million per claim with an annual aggregate cap of $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, Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, MultiCare Tacoma General Hospital and Valley Medical Center in Renton.

Best Medical malpractice insurance companies in Washington.

  1. Medical Protective
  2. NORCAL
  3. The Doctors Company
  4. Coverys
  5. Washington Casualty
  6. Lexington Insurance Co.

Why partner with Cunningham Group?

Partnering with Cunningham Group will give you a full view of the Washington 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 Alabama.

Historic Medical Malpractice Insurance Rates in Washington for Physicians.

Brief History and other important facts of medical malpractice insurance in Washington.

Historically, Washington physicians have carried limits of $1 million/$5 million, but some are beginning to switch to limits of $1 million/$3 million, which can also lead to lower costs.

Tort Reform in Washington

Washington has implemented many tort reforms over the years, but not all have withstood the test of time. In 1986, the state enacted the Washington Tort Reform Act, which instituted a $350,000 cap on noneconomic damages and set limits on attorney fees. However, in 2003, the Washington Supreme Court ruled the 1986 act to be unconstitutional, determining that it violated the right to trial by jury.

Since this ruling, more attempts at tort reform have been made. In 2005, physician and trial lawyer lobbies engaged in a battle for votes on competing ballot initiatives. The physician, hospital and nursing communities campaigned for I-330, a tort reform package that centered around a $350,000 cap on noneconomic damages and limits on attorney fees; trial lawyers politicked for I-336, which would have established a state-run supplemental liability insurance program and a three-strikes rule where doctors convicted by a jury of three malpractice events would lose their license for a 10-year period. The campaigns for I-330 and I-336 set a record for the most expensive ballot fight ever in Washington, with almost $16.4 million raised by both sides. Neither ballot initiative was passed by the electorate—with I-330 losing by a margin of 43 to 57 percent and I-336 losing 40 to 60 percent.

With both sides losing out in the ballot initiative battle, compromise reforms were passed in 2006, including an apology law; collateral source reforms; requirement for initial mediation when a claim is filed; and a requirement that plaintiff attorneys file a certificate of merit prior to the case going to trial. The requirement for a certificate of merit was ruled unconstitutional in 2009.

Washington’s 2006 legislation included a unique requirement for the state to collect detailed statistics about bout malpractice claims filed in the Washington Court system. Under the law, data on medical malpractice claims by insurers and self-insurers that have been settled—with or without a payment—must be reported to the insurance commissioner, who is mandated to publish annual statistical summaries. It is hoped this data will replace campaign bombast with empirical evidence the next time the tort reform argument gets heated.