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MEDICAL LIABILITY MONITOR SURVEY METHODOLOGY
(NOTE: These are mature, claims-made rates. This is the average price of a med-mal insurance policy that is in it's 5th-7th year. A first year, claims-made policy is roughly 30% of the mature rate)
This survey provides a continuing overview of changing rates for physicians' liability insurance. It is a snapshot in time, starting with the year 2000. This survey provides a continuing overview of changing rates for physicians' liability insurance. It is a snapshot in time, starting with the year 2000.
It is a picture we paint state by state because where physicians practice largely determines the premiums they pay. This is because insurers base their rates on the aggregate claims experience in a particular geographic area.
Because state insurance departments regulate rates, state tort reforms can affect the cost and patient compensation funds may influence the total premium, it is impossible to project a common national picture.
Each year we survey major writers of professional liability insurance for physicians. We ask for manual rates for specific mature claims-made specialties with limits of $1 million/$3 million, by far the most common limits. These are the rates reported unless otherwise noted.
We report on three specialties to reflect the wide range of rates charged: internal medicine, general surgery and obstetrics/gynecology.
The rates reported should not be interpreted as the actual premiums an individual physician pays for coverage. They do not reflect credits, debits, dividends or other factors that may reduce or increase premiums. Rates reported also do not include other underwriting factors that can increase premiums.
In patient compensation fund states, physicians pay surcharges ranging from a modest percentage to more than the base premium. Also, limits of coverage can differ in these states, which is noted.
When we contact survey participants, we ask them to provide data on all the states in which they actively market to physicians. We only report rates for companies that maintain filed and approved rates for each state in which they sell physicians malpractice insurance. We try to capture the leading, active writers in each state, but every writer may not be included.
In comparing this year's report with previous reports, it will be evident that the market is always changing. Many companies, formerly included, no longer sell physicians' malpractice insurance in certain states, do not currently entertain new business, have withdrawn from this line of insurance or no longer exist. The companies shown were available for business July 1 of the year the survey was conducted.
We estimate that this survey represents companies that comprise 65 to 75 percent of the market, and, as such, is the most comprehensive report on medical malpractice insurance rates anywhere. The remainder of the market is made up of companies with very small market shares, risk purchasing groups, risk retention groups and excess and non-admitted carriers.
Medical Liability Monitor