Medical Malpractice Insurance

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Michigan Surgeons 2024 Buying Guide to Medical Malpractice Insurance

If you are a surgeon needing medical malpractice insurance in Michigan, SURGPLI will work for you as your only trusted broker. Our brokers have deep knowledge of Michigan’s medical malpractice insurance marketplace, plus they stay up-to-date on the state’s legislation and tort reforms that affect rates and coverage requirements for your surgical specialty. Use the information in this 2024 Buying Guide to get ready to discuss your medical malpractice insurance needs with a SURGPLI broker.

SURGPLI advises all surgeons – particularly those in high-risk specialties – to have liability coverage, despite Michigan law not requiring it. One reason is that Michigan has no cap on economic damages in malpractice cases. An independent SURGPLI broker will work with you to ensure that you have strong medical malpractice coverage to protect against loss of personal assets and risk to your surgical practice in the event of a lawsuit.

2024 Medical Malpractice Coverage and Rates for Michigan

Historically, Michigan physicians have carried limits of $200,000 per occurrence /$600,000 aggregate, but many are switching to $1 million per occurrence/$3 million aggregate. High-risk surgical specialties – such as bariatric surgery and OB/GYN – may need policies with higher liability limits.

Michigan Estimated Malpractice Insurance Rates by Specialty

Each carrier uses its own proprietary methods of setting rates, which vary among carriers and specialties. Each malpractice insurance policy is underwritten individually, but the following are approximate rates across all Michigan locations to give you an idea of costs by high-risk specialty.

Specialty Approximate Claims Made Rate Approximate Tail Rate Approximate Occurrence Rate
General Surgery $70,000 $140,000 $80,000
Obstetrics and Gynecology $90,000 $180,000 $100,000
Orthopedic Surgery No Spine $50,000 $100,000 $60,000
Orthopedic Surgery Spine $80,000 $160,000 $90,000
Plastic Surgery $70,000 $140,000 $80,000
Bariatric Surgery $90,000 $180,000 $100,000
Neurosurgery $100,000 $200,000 $110,000

*Using the limits of $1,000,000 Each Claim / $3,000,000 Aggregate per year in coverage

Some Michigan healthcare facilities may require surgeons to carry medical malpractice insurance to have admitting privileges.

Also, if you need tail insurance coverage as a contracted surgeon changing jobs, you may need more coverage than the minimum required by your hospital. SURGPLI specializes in both medical malpractice insurance and tail insurance coverage for Michigan surgeons, so contact us for a personalized quote based on your unique needs.

Get a quote.

Get Medical Malpractice Insurance Quotes from A-rated Carriers Serving Michigan

Surgeons in Michigan have many good options for medical liability insurance. SURGPLI recommends carriers rated “A” by A.M. Best. These companies are A-rated because of their long-term financial solvency and a history of providing robust legal support for Michigan surgeons. Some of the top carriers include:

  • MedPro Group
  • The Doctors Company
  • Coverys Group
  • ProAssurance
  • Michigan Professional Insurance Exchange
  • ISMIE Group
  • Lone Star Alliance RRG (TMLT Group)
  • Liberty Mutual Group


Save time and effort by getting a wide range of A-rated carrier quotes through SURGPLI as a single point of contact.

Types of Professional Liability Insurance for Michigan Surgeons

Here is an brief overview of the most common types of medical malpractice insurance for surgeons in Michigan:

Claims Made Insurance
Claims-made malpractice insurance provides coverage if the policy is in effect both when the incident took place AND when the claim is filed. If a claim is filed after the end of the policy date, the claim is NOT covered. With a claims-made policy you need tail malpractice insurance, which is a separately purchased insurance policy or endorsement, to make sure you have full protection. Claims-made insurance policies “step up” as they mature, so the first year rate is lower than subsequent years.

Occurrence Insurance
Occurrence malpractice insurance provides coverage for incidents that occurred during the policy year, regardless of when a claim is reported to the carrier. Occurrence policies are more costly at the start of the policy, but the rate does not “step up”, and there is no need for tail coverage when the policy ends.

Tail Insurance
Since most malpractice insurance policies are underwritten on a claims-made basis, you will be exposed to a lawsuit if a former patient files a claim against you and you do not secure tail coverage. When you are preparing to leave your employer, you should seek tail coverage options with an independent broker like SURGPLI. Tail insurance covers you for a specific time period. The new employer’s policy is not going to cover you for prior acts of a former practice, hence tail coverage is needed. Read more about tail malpractice insurance.

Reach out to an experienced SURGPLI broker who will do the work for you to find a tail policy at a great price.

Understand Your Risk of Malpractice Claims in Michigan

Michigan has no caps on economic and non-economic damages, which makes surgeons more vulnerable to personal financial loss if they do not have strong medical malpractice coverage. Note that the total medical malpractice payout in Michigan was $66,837,750 in 2022. Here are some of the most common iatrogenic patient injuries that have been named in medical malpractice lawsuits against surgeons practicing in high-risk specialties:

Neurosurgery – Claims relating to laminectomy surgeries (anterior cervical fusion and posterior lumbar fusion), including: improper performance of surgery, retained foreign body, delay in surgery, and unnecessary surgery.

Bariatric Surgery – Lack of identifying and treating complications of laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy; bowel perforation during surgery.

Orthopedic Surgery –Post-operative implant and prosthesis infections; sciatic nerve injury in hip replacements; deep vein thrombosis developing into pulmonary embolism.

OB/GYN Surgery – Birth injuries caused by improper use of medical devices or techniques; profound brain injuries at birth; misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis of fetal distress.

Plastic Surgery – Improper performance and poor outcomes of higher-risk elective cosmetic surgeries; surgical errors and negligence regarding post-operative infections, bad facial filler injections, uneven breast augmentations, and visible scarring.

General Surgery – Surgical errors, such as when surgery is performed on the wrong body part, or when a sponge or surgical instrument is left in the patient’s body leading to a post-operative complication or death; failing to close a bleeding vein or artery.

Check out the SURGPLI Medical Malpractice Insurance Blog for articles that discuss ways that private practice surgeons can best manage the risk of being sued for malpractice, as well as other information on medical malpractice insurance trends and legislation.

Tort Reform in Michigan

Notable tort reforms in Michigan include:

  • In 1986, Michigan passed its first major tort reform. This legislation required that lawsuits be filed in the county in which the malpractice occurred, mandated a higher standard of expert testimony, capped non-economic damages at $225,000, and addressed issues around joint-and-several liability.
  • In 1993, continuing tort reform increased the cap on non-economic damages to $280,000, increased standards for expert testimony even further, required that all medical malpractice plaintiffs to file an affidavit of merit, and “permitted binding arbitration for medical malpractice cases that involved damages not in excess of $75,000”.
  • The state has adjusted its cap on noneconomic damages periodically due to inflation. As of January 2021, the “upper cap” was set at $851,000 and the “lower cap” at $476,600.

Michigan’s Damage Caps on Medical Malpractice Lawsuits

There are no caps on economic damages in Michigan.

  • In 2021, the state announced that the “upper cap” for non-economic damages was adjusted to a limitation of $851,000 and the “lower cap” was adjusted to a limitation of $476,600.
  • If the medical malpractice resulted in at least one of the following, the upper cap applies:
  • The plaintiff is hemiplegic, paraplegic, or quadriplegic resulting in total permanent functional loss of one or more limbs caused by an injury to the brain and/or spinal cord;
  • The plaintiff has permanently impaired cognitive capacity rendering him or her incapable of making independent, reasonable life decisions and permanently incapable of independently performing the activities of normal, daily living; or
  • The plaintiff has suffered permanent loss of or damage to a reproductive organ resulting in the inability to procreate.
  • If none of the above criteria are met, then the lower cap applies to the medical malpractice claim.

Michigan’s Statute of Limitations for Medical Malpractice Claims

The following guidelines outline the state’s statute of limitations for medical malpractice claims:

  • The standard deadline set by Michigan gives an individual two years from the date on which the alleged medical error was committed to file a lawsuit.
  • If the injury is not discovered within the two-year deadline, the claim must be filed within six months of the discovery (or when it should have been discovered).
  • The state’s “statute of repose” requires that a claim be filed no more than six years after the date on which the underlying malpractice was committed, regardless of when the existence of the claim was discovered.
  • The “statute of repose” does not apply to cases of malpractice fraud or when “there has been permanent loss of or damage to a reproductive organ resulting in the inability to procreate”.
  • Specific guidelines exist for minors who have suffered an injury based on the type of injury and the age of the child.
  • Michigan’s Wrongful Death Act doesn’t specify an amount of time in which a wrongful death claim must be made. “Rather, any action filed under the Wrongful Death Act ‘borrows’ the statute of limitations that applies to the underlying cause of action”.

The statutes of limitations for medical malpractice can be complex and can vary from case to case. Consulting with SURGPLI brokers who understand the ins and outs of this system is an important part of protecting your medical practice with the right amount of medical malpractice insurance coverage.

Need Medical Malpractice Insurance in Michigan? Request a Quote Today

Reach out to SURGPLI to ensure you have strong medical malpractice coverage for your private surgical practice in Michigan. Also, we help contracted surgeons secure tail coverage when changing jobs. Whether you’re a neurosurgeon in Detroit, an OB/GYN in Sterling Heights, or an orthopedic surgeon in Grand Rapids, SURGPLI brokers will help you obtain coverage from an A-rated carrier.

Max Schloemann

About the Author

Max Schloemann is a medical malpractice insurance broker, focused on helping physicians secure Medical Professional Liability coverage. He helps Doctors and Surgeons, as well as Physician Assistants, Nurse Practitioners, and healthcare entrepreneurs launch new medical practices across the country. Max graduated Magna cum Laude from Southern Illinois University College of Business and was named the Outstanding Management Senior. Max’s career in medical malpractice insurance began in 2008 with an industry-leading firm. Max founded SURGPLI in 2023 to help surgeons navigate the complexities of medical malpractice insurance in the new era of healthcare. Max’s wife, Kristen, a Physician Assistant, and their 4 kids (plus 1 dog) enjoy hiking, golf, and cooking.

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