Medical Malpractice State Regulation

        The Basics of Medical Malpractice Insurance


Medical malpractice insurance is predominantly regulated by states, and malpractice insurers serve only one state or a small number of states. To combat rising medical malpractice litigation insurance premiums, some states have capped damages that can be collected in medical malpractice suits, and others have mandated the purchase of at least $1 million of medical malpractice insurance. Other states have minimal requirements.

Most states require that physicians obtain medical malpractice insurance to offset the risk and costs of potential lawsuits. The risk is great enough that even in states that lack this requirement, physicians rarely practice without it. Whether it is obtained individually through a commercial insurer or through a physician’s health care facility, medical malpractice premiums are among the highest in the insurance industry.

Physicians in large-group settings that affiliate with hospitals are sometimes able to find more stable, low-cost insurance than those in small-group or solo practice settings, but in both cases, volatile conditions and increasingly costly medical malpractice litigation contribute to exceptionally high premiums.

In addition to physicians, there are other professions that should carry medical malpractice coverage, including nurses, dentists, optometrists, therapists and other medical professionals.