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General Practitioner Malpractice Insurance

A general practitioner (GP) is a medical doctor who gives primary health care to patients of any gender and age. They can treat acute and chronic conditions as well.

Due to the general nature of their vocations, it is important that general practitioners seek malpractice coverage. Most general practitioners face medical malpractice claims every 7 to 10 years. Research shows that about 5.2% of general practitioners face a claim each year, and 1.3% of those result in damages. The median indemnity payment is $130,000 and the mean is $255,000 for general practitioners.

Research from the Physician Insurers Association of America shows that malpractice lawsuits for general practitioners are most common with diagnostic errors, such as misdiagnosing myocardial infarction, breast cancer, appendicitis, lung cancer, and colon cancer. Misdiagnosis of myocardial infarction is the most common cause for malpractice lawsuits for general practitioners. It is important to thoroughly document these high risk cases to avoid liability in the case of a malpractice claim. Also, it is crucial for general practitioners to cultivate good relationships with patients, as this specialty in particular is focused on the personal, unique care of the entire patient.

How Much Does General Practitioner Medical Malpractice Insurance Cost?

General practitioner malpractice insurance can cost from about $8,000 to $50,000 each year. These insurance costs cover legal fee expenses. The insurance must meet or surpass all of the state’s malpractice requirements. Specifically, it is important to choose an insurer eager to individualize coverage to meet a doctor's specific circumstances and needs.

Insurance costs for general practitioners vary widely depending on the location and the specialty of the practice. States like Florida and Illinois have higher premiums, while states like Texas, Minnesota, and California have lower premiums. Furthermore, general practitioners who perform invasive procedures or obstetrics will have higher premiums as well. Insurance costs are also affected by the desired level of coverage and individual physician history. Other items that may influence premiums include:

  • Time worked
  • Level of coverage
  • Performance history
  • Urban versus rural location
  • Competition among insurers
  • Tort reform (specifically regarding non economic damage caps)
  • Policy limits
  • Implementation of “defensive medicine”
  • Individual practice

 

Types of Insurance Coverage for General Practitioner Medical Malpractice

Malpractice coverage may fall into two categories: occurrences or claims-made. Occurrence coverage is applicable for claims made from the time the policy was being paid by the doctor, even if it isn’t anymore. Claims-made malpractice coverage covers only claims made during the time the policy is active. However, claims-made policies can include “tail” coverage, which incorporates coverage for a length of time after the policy is over.

General practitioners should pursue individual insurance coverage, as they may not be comprehensively covered by their employer's policy. Though it is common for general practitioners to work in hospitals or group practices, they often give advice or treat patients and families after working hours. Therefore, it is vital that general practitioners are fully covered at all times in case of a claim.

Are You In Need of Medical Malpractice Insurance?

We serve general practitioners and family practice doctors across the United States. Capson has fostered a community of compassionate doctors, who therefore have lower premiums. If you want to explore malpractice insurance options, contact Capson now to get your quick, complimentary quote.