Medical Malpractice Insurance

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Ohio Surgeons 2024 Buying Guide to Medical Malpractice Insurance

If you are a surgeon needing medical malpractice insurance in Ohio, SURGPLI will work for you as your only trusted broker. Our advisors have deep knowledge of Ohio’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 advisor.

General surgeons, OB/GYNs, orthopedic surgeons, and neurosurgeons are among the top 10 medical specialists sued for malpractice in Ohio, according to Ohio Department of Insurance data. In 2023, Ohio juries awarded over $7.5 million and $4.5 million to plaintiffs in just two notable medical malpractice lawsuits. With no caps on economic damages, Ohio surgeons need robust medical malpractice coverage. An independent SURGPLI advisor will work with you to find the right coverage and carrier at a competitive rate.

2024 Medical Malpractice Coverage and Rates for Ohio

Surgeons in Ohio are not required by law to obtain medical malpractice insurance. However, if you run a private practice without malpractice insurance, prior to administering services you must provide patients with written notice of your lack of insurance coverage. Patients must sign the notice in acknowledgment. SURGPLI advises Ohio surgeons to secure and maintain strong medical malpractice coverage to reduce risk to the practice and protect against personal financial loss if sued.

Ohio 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 Ohio 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 $50,000 $100,000 $60,000
Obstetrics and Gynecology $70,000 $140,000 $80,000
Orthopedic Surgery No Spine $40,000 $80,000 $50,000
Orthopedic Surgery Spine $65,000 $130,000 $75,000
Plastic Surgery $45,000 $90,000 $55,000
Bariatric Surgery $70,000 $140,000 $80,000
Neurosurgery $80,000 $160,000 $160,000

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

Ohio healthcare facilities typically require surgeons to carry medical malpractice insurance to have admitting privileges.
SURGPLI specializes in both medical malpractice insurance and tail insurance coverage for Ohio 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 Ohio

Surgeons in Ohio 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 Ohio surgeons. Some of the top carriers include:

  • The Doctors Company
  • MedPro Group
  • Coverys Group
  • ProAssurance
  • NORCAL Group (A Part of ProAssurance)
  • 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 Ohio Surgeons

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

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 Ohio

Ohio has no cap on economic damages, so surgeons more vulnerable to personal financial loss if they do not have strong medical malpractice coverage. Note that the total medical malpractice payout in Ohio was $95,076,250 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 Ohio

In 2002, Ohio signed into law Senate Bill 281, then three years later signed into law Senate Bill 80. These bills together created significant tort reform that implemented damage caps for non-economic damages and made it a requirement that plaintiffs in medical malpractice lawsuits have an affidavit of merit from an expert witness who states that the claim is legitimate.

Ohio’s Damage Caps on Medical Malpractice Lawsuits

There is no cap on economic damages in medical malpractice lawsuits in Ohio.

Ohio does cap damages for non-economic injuries:

  • $250,000 per plaintiff or 3 times the economic damages, whichever is higher
  • The maximum is $350,000 per plaintiff and $500,000 per occurrence
  • If a plaintiff’s injuries are found to be “catastrophic” the damage limit is set at $500,000 per individual and $1 million per occurrence. Under Ohio law, catastrophic injuries are those that involve:
    • Permanent and substantial physical deformity
    • Loss of use of a limb
    • Loss of a bodily organ system
    • Permanent physical injury that prevents self-care

Ohio’s Statute of Limitations for Medical Malpractice Claims

Under Ohio law, a medical malpractice lawsuit must be filed within one year from the later of one of the following dates:

  • The date when the injury occurred;
  • The date when the injury was first discovered, or
  • The last date of treatment with the medical provider that caused the injury

There are exceptions to this rule. If within the one-year limitations period the injured party notifies the medical professional or institution that he or she is considering bringing a medical malpractice lawsuit, they have an additional 180 days to file after the date of the notice.

The statutes of limitations for medical malpractice can be complex and can vary from case to case. Consulting with SURGPLI advisors 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 Ohio? Request a Quote Today

Reach out to SURGPLI to ensure you have strong medical malpractice coverage for your private surgical practice in Ohio. Also, we help contracted surgeons secure tail coverage when changing jobs. Whether you’re a general surgeon in Cleveland, an orthopedic surgeon in Columbus, or an OB/GYN in Cincinnati, SURGPLI advisors 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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