Report finds medical liability rates leveling off

January 1, 2008

In its 17th annual survey of medical liability insurance rates, Medical Liability Monitor found that premiums stayed steady for the second year in a row, and more insurers have decreased rates.

In its 17th annual survey of medical liability insurance rates, Medical Liability Monitor (10/2007) found that premiums stayed steady for the second year in a row, and more insurers have decreased rates. The survey of major writers of liability insurance for physicians, reporting rates effective July 1, 2007, found that just 16.2% of respondents reported rate increases – that's almost half of last year's level of 30.5%. The survey also found that 53.1% reported no changes, and 29.8% reported decreases this year.

In a state-by-state comparison of rates for ob/gyns, those in Idaho, Michigan, New York, Montana , and Connecticut saw the largest rate increases. Idaho doctors who signed with Physicians Insurance saw the largest increase of 120.5%, but still paid a relatively low rate of $42,610 in 2007. This increase can be attributed to the insurer who may have written "little or no business in the subject jurisdiction currently and may be adjusting rates to be more in line with current environmental circumstances."

Ob/gyns in Illinois, West Virginia, Kentucky, and Colorado saw the largest fall in premiums. Ob/gyns who signed with Medical Protective in Illinois, a state notable for its 2005 tort reform, saw the largest decrease of 52.3% in their rates and now pay $127,083, while those who signed with APCapital pay $75,729 after a rate decrease of 19.6%.