Orthopedic Surgeon Malpractice Insurance

Orthopedic Surgeon Malpractice Insurance

Orthopedics is the medical specialty revolving around conditions of the musculoskeletal system, including issues with bones, joints, ligaments, muscles, nerves, and tendons. Many orthopedic surgeons choose to specialize in one area (foot, spine, hip, knee, etc.) or in one field (pediatrics, trauma, sports medicine, oncology, etc.).

Research shows that 98.4% of all orthopedic surgeons will face a medical malpractice suit by age 65. Further statistics show that 79.7% of orthopedic surgeons by age 45 faced at least one claim. 26.3% of physicians faced an indemnity claim by age 45 and 63.3% faced an indemnity claim by age 65. Orthopedic surgeons are sued twice on average during their careers.

Research also shows that about 14.2% of orthopedic physicians face a claim annually. Of those claims, 4.3% result in damages, mostly monetary. For orthopedic surgeons, the median indemnity payment is $110,000 and the mean is $225,000. Over 55% of medical malpractice claims involve "improper performance of surgery." Other reasons include improper management of patients and failure to diagnose.

To keep themselves safe from future problems, orthopedic surgeons must have malpractice insurance to protect against malpractice claims.

How Much Does Orthopedic Surgeon Medical Malpractice Insurance Cost?

Orthopedic surgeon malpractice insurance costs range from $50,000 to $120,000 annually. These insurance costs cover legal defense fees and settlements, conduct reviews, damages, and more. Insurers should customize coverage to meet the unique orthopedic surgeon's individual needs and circumstances, and the insurance must also meet state requirements.

Other specific factors that can influence cost are:

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

Types of Insurance Coverage for Orthopedic Surgeon Malpractice

Orthopedic surgeon malpractice insurance coverage is either claims-made or occurrence. Claims-made coverage covers only malpractice claims made and that occurred during the time the policy is active. Claims-made policies can also add on “tail” coverage, which expands coverage for a certain period of time after the policy is discontinued. Occurrence coverage refers to a policy that covers claims that occurred during the time the policy was in effect, even if it isn’t anymore.

Furthermore, orthopedic surgeries can be categorized by insurers as either Surgery with Spine or Surgery No Spine. Orthopedic surgeons who perform on the spine are considered by insurance carriers to contain much more risk and will carry the highest premiums. Orthopedic specialists who perform surgeries not involving the spine may enjoy lower premiums. A further class is orthopedic specialists who don't perform surgery at all; these physicians will have the lowest premiums of all orthopedic specialists.


Get Malpractice Insurance for Your Orthopedic Practice

Capson is proud to offer malpractice coverage to orthopedic specialists across the United States. We work to provide insurance to high quality doctors across the country, helping protect them from the possible burden of malpractice. If you want quality insurance and lower premiums, contact us now.