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Medical MALPRACTICE Insurance Costs, Requirements & Minimum by State

Medical malpractice insurance is an absolute necessity for practicing physicians. But is carrying minimum liability coverage for physicians a legal requirement in all fifty states? Surprisingly, the answer is “no.” However, when physicians choose to “go bare” (not carry professional liability insurance), it could have devastating effects on a practice, and on a career. Make sure you understand the medical malpractice insurance requirements for the state you practice in. Learn about the medical malpractice insurance costs by state as well as medical malpractice statute of limitations by state. 

According to the American Medical Association, seven states-- Colorado, Connecticut, Kansas, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Rhode Island, and Wisconsin-- require physicians to carry minimum levels of medical professional liability insurance, ranging from $100,000 to $1 million per occurrence and $300,000 to $3 million per annual aggregate.

According to the Houston Chronicle, “Seven states require physicians to have a minimum level of malpractice insurance if they want to participate in a state program designed to aid physicians with claims, according to the American Medical Association. These programs include either caps that limit damages that can result from a malpractice claim or a patient compensation fund, which is a state effort to cover certain patient injuries and to provide supplemental malpractice insurance to physicians. These states are Indiana, Louisiana, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, Pennsylvania and Wyoming.”

Below are the industry average yearly costs of medical malpractice insurance for physicians in solo/two physician practices, small group practices (3-5 physicians), and medium group practices (6-50 physicians) in each state, as well as legal carrying requirements.

Industry Average Cost, Requirements & Minimums By State 

Click on the state abbreviations below to navigate to your desired state.

AL HI MA NM SD
AK ID MI NY TN
AZ IL MN NC TX
AR IN MS ND UT
CA IA MO OH VT
CO KS MT OK VA
CT KY NE OR WA
DE LA NV PA WV
FL ME NH RI WI
GA MD NJ SC WY

Alabama

  • Industry Average Cost: $8,342
  • Is Med Mal Required: No
  • Minimum Carrying Requirements: None
  • Find out your cost with Capson

Alaska

Arizona

Arkansas

California

  • Industry Average Cost: $7,511
  • Is Med Mal Required: No
  • Minimum Carrying Requirements: None
  • Find out your cost with Capson

Colorado

  • Industry Average Cost: $10,291
  • Is Med Mal Required: Yes
  • Minimum Carrying Requirements: Effective July 1, 2010, the law requires a minimum indemnity amount of $1,000,000 per incident and $3,000,000 annual aggregate per year, or an acceptable alternative as set forth in Board Rule 220.
  • Find out your cost with Capson

Connecticut

  • Industry Average Cost: $8,381
  • Is Med Mal Required: Yes
  • Minimum Carrying Requirements: By law, physicians must carry medical malpractice insurance of $500,000 per person, per occurrence with an aggregate of $1.5 million. Section 30 of PA 04-221 exempts physicians from this requirement when, for no compensation, they are providing primary health care services at a Department of Public Health (DPH)-licensed, tax-exempt clinic that (1) does not charge for its services, (2) maintains the $500,000/$1.5 million malpractice coverage required by law for each 40 hours (or fractional amount) of service these physicians provide, (3) carries additional malpractice coverage in these amounts on behalf of itself and its employees, and (4) maintains total malpractice coverage for $1.5 million per occurrence and $3 million in total. A physician covered by the act's exemption must still maintain legally required malpractice coverage when providing services in any other situation. The act states that it does not relieve such clinics from any other insurance the law requires them to maintain.
  • Find out your cost with Capson

Delaware

  • Industry Average Cost: $11,707
  • Is Med Mal Required: No
  • Minimum Carrying Requirements: None
  • Find out your cost with Capson

Florida

  • Industry Average Cost: $7,814
  • Is Med Mal Required: No
  • Minimum Carrying Requirements: None
  • Find out your cost with Capson

Georgia

  • Industry Average Cost: $10,001
  • Is Med Mal Required: No
  • Minimum Carrying Requirements: None
  • Find out your cost with Capson

Hawaii

  • Industry Average Cost: $6,197
  • Is Med Mal Required: No
  • Minimum Carrying Requirements: None
  • Find out your cost with Capson

Idaho

Illinois

Indiana

  • Industry Average Cost: $7,502
  • Is Med Mal Required: Requirements are in place to qualify for state liability reforms.
  • Minimum Carrying Requirements: The Indiana Medical Malpractice Act establishes a Patient Compensation Fund that functions as a system of excess insurance for health care providers. To become a “qualified provider,” entitled to the benefits of the Act, a health care provider must file proof of financial responsibility and pay the surcharge assessed by the Commissioner of Insurance to support the Fund. Ind. Code Ann. §§ 34-18-2-24.5 and 34-18-3-2 (West Supp. 1998). A qualified provider establishes financial responsibility by purchasing malpractice liability insurance. Effective July 1, 1999, required limits for physicians are $250,000 per occurrence and $750,000 in the annual aggregate, while required limits for hospitals are $250,000 per occurrence and $5,000,000 in the annual aggregate, if the hospital has not more than one hundred beds, or $7,500,000 in the annual aggregate, if the hospital has more than one hundred beds. 
  • Learn more about Indiana medical malpractice insurance
  • Find out your cost with Capson

Iowa

Kansas

  • Industry Average Cost: $7,230
  • Is Med Mal Required: Yes
  • Minimum Carrying Requirements: By law, all healthcare providers in the state of Kansas must hold professional liability insurance. The insurance policy must provide per claim limits of $200,000 and an aggregate limit of $600,000. The Kansas Department of Insurance will only allow physicians to purchase insurance from a state admitted carrier. Admitted carriers are backed by the state guarantee and are regulated by the Department of Insurance.
  • Find out your cost with Capson

Kentucky

Louisiana

  • Industry Average Cost: $5,890
  • Is Med Mal Required: Requirements are in place to qualify for state liability reforms.
  • Minimum Carrying Requirements: The LouisianaPatient Compensation Fund provides $400,000 for each claim for qualified providers, as well as future medical expenses as they are incurred. Louisiana physicians must have insurance to cover the first $100,000 of any claim and to qualify for participation in the fund. 
  • Learn more about Louisiana medical malpractice insurance
  • Find out your cost with Capson

Maine

  • Industry Average Cost: $10,263
  • Is Med Mal Required: No
  • Minimum Carrying Requirements: None
  • Find out your cost with Capson

Maryland

Massachusetts

  • Industry Average Cost: $7,768
  • Is Med Mal Required: Yes
  • Minimum Carrying Requirements: The minimum liability limit for medical malpractice insurance in Massachusetts is $100,000 per occurrence and $300,000 aggregate per policy period (1 year). The $100/$300 limit is lower than most state requirements, and most physicians are not comfortable with low limits. The argument for lower limits is that in the case of a law suit attorneys will only go after the amount of the policy limit, so the higher the limit the more money they will sue for. But most hospitals will require $1M/$3M limits.
  • Find out your cost with Capson

Michigan

  • Industry Average Cost: $5,471
  • Is Med Mal Required: No
  • Minimum Carrying Requirements: None
  • Find out your cost with Capson

Minnesota

  • Industry Average Cost: $6,058
  • Is Med Mal Required: No
  • Minimum Carrying Requirements: None
  • Find out your cost with Capson

Mississippi

Missouri

Montana

Nebraska

  • Industry Average Cost: $6,049
  • Is Med Mal Required: Requirements are in place to qualify for state liability reforms
  • Minimum Carrying Requirements: Health care providers are required to carry malpractice insurance with limits of $500,000 per occurrence and $1M aggregate per policy period. The Excess Liability Fund then provides coverage for any damages exceeding these amounts but falling below the applicable damage cap.
  • Learn more about Nebraska medical malpractice insurance
  • Find out your cost with Capson

Nevada

New Hampshire

  • Industry Average Cost: $12.057
  • Is Med Mal Required: No
  • Minimum Carrying Requirements: None
  • Find out your cost with Capson

New Jersey

  • Industry Average Cost: $13,407
  • Is Med Mal Required: Yes
  • Minimum Carrying Requirements: Limitsof Liability. New Jersey's minimum liability limit for medical malpractice insurance is $1,000,000 per occurrence and $3,000,000 aggregate per policy period (1 year). The $1M/$3M limit is fairly standard across the U.S.
  • Find out your cost with Capson

New Mexico

  • Industry Average Cost: $7,573
  • Is Med Mal Required: Requirements are in place to qualify for state liability reforms.
  • Minimum Carrying Requirements: Physicians must carry liability limits of $200,000 per occurrence because the patient compensation fund in New Mexico covers anything over this limit. But physicians sometimes choose to carry a higher liability limit because the fund does not cover punitive damages.
  • Learn more about New Mexico medical malpractice insurance.
  • Find out your cost with Capson

New York

  • Industry Average Cost: $16,818
  • Is Med Mal required: Requirements are in place to qualify for state liability reforms.
  • Minimum Carrying Requirements: None
  • Find out your cost with Capson

North Carolina

  • Industry Average Cost: $7,242
  • Is Med Mal Required: No
  • Minimum Carrying Requirements: None
  • Find out your cost with Capson

North Dakota

Ohio

  • Industry Average Cost: $8,862
  • Is Med Mal Required: No
  • Minimum Carrying Requirements: None
  • Find out your cost with Capson

Oklahoma

Oregon

Pennsylvania

  • Industry Average Cost: $11,952
  • Is Med Mal Required: Requirements are in place to qualify for state liability reforms.
  • Minimum Carrying Requirements: Physicians and surgeons must maintain limits of $1,000,000 per claim and $3,000,000 as an annual aggregate. The primary (private) policy insures the first $500,000 of any claim and the MCARE fund will cover excess losses of up to another $500,000.
  • Find out your cost with Capson

Rhode Island

  • Industry Average Cost: $5,676
  • Is Med Mal Required: Yes
  • Minimum Carrying Requirements: All healthcare facilities and active medical or dental professionals shall carry medical malpractice insurance coverage with minimum limits of one million dollars ($1,000,000) for claims arising out of the same professional service and three million dollars ($3,000,000) in the aggregate.
  • Find out your cost with Capson

South Carolina

  • Industry Average Cost: $8,127
  • Is Med Mal Required: No
  • Minimum Carrying Requirements: None
  • Find out your cost with Capson

South Dakota

Tennessee

Texas

  • Industry Average Cost: $6,478
  • Is Med Mal Required: No
  • Minimum Carrying Requirements: None
  • Plaintiff needs to provide notice of the claim to each provider in the suit
  • Learn more about Texas medical malpractice insurance.
  • Find out your cost with Capson

Utah

  • Industry Average Cost: $10,970
  • Is Med Mal Required: No
  • Minimum Carrying Requirements: None
  • Find out your cost with Capson

Vermont

  • Industry Average Cost: $9,240
  • Is Med Mal Required: No
  • Minimum Carrying Requirements: None
  • Find out your cost with Capson

Virginia

  • Industry Average Cost: $8,592
  • Is Med Mal Required: No
  • Minimum Carrying Requirements: None
  • Find out your cost with Capson

Washington

West Virginia

Wisconsin

  • Industry Average Cost: $6,659
  • Is Med Mal Required: Yes
  • Minimum Carrying Requirements: Physicians must purchase medical malpractice insurance with a limit of $1,000,000 per claim with a $3,000,000 aggregate.
  • Learn more about Wisconsin medical malpractice insurance
  • Find out your cost with Capson

Wyoming

  • Industry Average Cost: $16,566
  • Is Med Mal Required: Requirements are in place to qualify for state liability reforms.
  • Minimum Carrying Requirements: The medical liability patient compensation fund was created in 1997 to protect physicians from excessive malpractice awards. Physicians are required to carry a minimum liability limit of $50,000 per claim on their own professional liability policy. They then must pay a surcharge to the patient compensation fund. This covers claims exceeding $50,000 and up to a maximum of $1,000,000.
  • Find out your cost with Capson

The cost of medical malpractice insurance for physicians greatly varies from state to state, as well as based on specialties. Two considerations are worth noting. Does your state legally require physicians to carry professional liability coverage? And what are the specific med mal coverage requirements for states offering programs designed to assist them? Laws and requirements change, so finding a carrier with deep knowledge about the best ways to insure physicians in any given region is vital.