Liability premiums are stable for now

March 1, 2010

Liability insurance premiums have eased nationwide for the fourth straight year.

Liability insurance premiums have eased nationwide for the fourth straight year. Insurers expect improvements to continue this year, but caution that this favorable situation might not last.

According to the annual Medical Liability Monitor survey, 94% of premiums either held steady (58%) or dropped (36%) in 2009. Similarly in 2008, 93% of premiums either held steady (50%) or dropped (43%). Only 6% of premiums nationally went up in 2009, down from 7% in 2008 and16% in 2007. Nearly all 2009 premium hikes were less than 10%. Nonetheless, rates are still much higher than they were before rising in the early 2000s.

Competition also rose; no insurer withdrew from any state, and more than 10% of survey participants began writing business in new states.

For ob/gyns, the most expensive insurance premiums in 2009 were in Florida (Miami-Dade) at $201,808, followed by New York (Nassau, Suffolk), Illinois (Cook, Madison, St. Clair), Nevada (Clark), and New Jersey. The lowest premiums for ob/gyns were in Wisconsin ($18,154), followed by South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, and North Dakota.

Sorrel AL. Liability premiums stay stable, but insurers warn this might not last. American Medical News. November 23, 2009. http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2009/11/23/prl21123.htm. Accessed February 11, 2010.