Medical Malpractice Insurance for Orthopedic Surgeons

Competitively priced A-rated medical malpractice policies for orthopedic surgeons.

Cost for Orthopedic Surgeon Malpractice Insurance

Because malpractice insurance companies classify orthopedic surgery as a high risk specialty, orthopedic surgeons should expect to pay higher premiums for a liability policy when compared to other, lower-risk specialties.

Rates are also dependent on an orthopedic surgeon’s prior claims history and location.

To confirm you always have the right coverage at the lowest available rates, savvy orthopedic surgeons should periodically check-in with a medical malpractice insurance broker. An independent agent that specializes in orthopedic surgeon insurance can help you to re-evaluate your needs and keep you updated on any changes in your specialty’s marketplace.

See below for average rates by location for orthopedic surgeons. Mature claims-made estimates below are for informational purposes only. Occurrence coverage may be available.  To get your personalized rate estimate, please request a quote.

All Orthopedic Surgeons Need Medical Malpractice Insurance

Number of orthopedic surgeons that report being sued at least once
Average cost to defend non-meritorious claims
Average indemnity paid in a closed surgical orthopedic claim

Why do medical malpractice insurance companies consider orthopedic surgeons high risk? For the most part, its because they have a very high likelihood of being sued – particularly for outcomes that negatively affect a patient’s functioning for the rest of their life – ultimately leading to higher payout awards.

  • In a Medscape report from 2021, orthopedists ranked third among physicians when it came to lawsuits, with 81% reporting a suit compared with 51% of physicians overall.

  • While most of the medical malpractice lawsuits against orthopedic surgeons in 2021 were settled before they went to court, about 25% of claims proceeded to trial.

  • According to the Medical Professional Liability Association’s (MPLA) Data Sharing Project, 30% of orthopedic surgery claims between 2016 and 2018 resulted in an average payout of $346,336 to the plaintiff in the case. Major permanent injuries had the highest average indemnity payment at $747,199, and the largest payment was $3 million.

  • Even when a malpractice claim is dropped or settled, malpractice insurance lawsuits can still be expensive. The MPLA states that though 63% of orthopedic surgery claims during this time period were non-meritorious, the average cost to defend these claims was $31,125.

Having the right medical malpractice insurance policy in place can protect orthopedic surgeons from having to pay out of pocket for court fess, attorneys, expert witnesses, and actual damages and losses awarded to the plaintiff that result from a lawsuit.

Medical Malpractice Insurance Rates for ORTHOPEDIC SURGEONs BY STATE

City State Premium Estimate Limits of Liability
Birmingham AL $35,000 $1,000,000/$3,000,000
Little Rock AR $35,000 $1,000,000/$3,000,000
Phoenix AZ $45,000 $1,000,000/$3,000,000
Los Angeles CA $35,000 $1,000,000/$3,000,000
Denver CO $50,000 $1,000,000/$3,000,000
Bridgeport CT $45,000 $1,000,000/$4,000,000
Wilmington DE $50,000 $1,000,000/$3,000,000
Washington DC $75,000 $1,000,000/$3,000,000
Miami FL* $70,000 $1,000,000/$3,000,000
Miami FL* $55,000 $250,000/$750,000
Atlanta GA $45,000 $1,000,000/$3,000,000
Honolulu HI $50,000 $1,000,000/$3,000,000
Des Moines IA $30,000 $1,000,000/$3,000,000
Boise ID $25,000 $1,000,000/$3,000,000
Chicago IL $85,000 $1,000,000/$3,000,000
Wichita KS $30,000 + KS HCSF $200,000/$600,000
Louisville KY $40,000 $1,000,000/$3,000,000
Indianapolis IN $30,000 + IN PCF $250,000/$750,000
New Orleans LA $30,000 + LA PCF $100,000/$300,000
Boston MA $45,000 $1,000,000/$3,000,000
Baltimore MD $60,000 $1,000,000/$3,000,000
Portland ME $35,000 $1,000,000/$3,000,000
Detroit MI $60,000 $1,000,000/$3,000,000
St. Louis MO $50,000 $1,000,000/$3,000,000
Minneapolis MN $25,000 $1,000,000/$3,000,000
Jackson MS $55,000 $1,000,000/$3,000,000
Billings MT $60,000 $1,000,000/$3,000,000
Charlotte NC $35,000 $1,000,000/$3,000,000
Fargo ND $25,000 $1,000,000/$3,000,000
Omaha NE $25,000 $1,000,000/$3,000,000
Manchester NH $50,000 $1,000,000/$3,000,000
Albuquerque NM $35,000 + NM PCF $200,000/$600,000
Newark NJ $55,000 $1,000,000/$3,000,000
Las Vegas NV $50,000 $1,000,000/$3,000,000
Manhattan, NY NY $125,000 $1,300,000/$3,900,000
Columbus OH $50,000 $1,000,000/$3,000,000
Oklahoma City OK $45,000 $1,000,000/$3,000,000
Portland OR $30,000 $1,000,000/$3,000,000
Philadelphia PA $50,000 + MCARE $500,000/$1,500,000
Providence RI $40,000 $1,000,000/$3,000,000
Charleston SC $40,000 $1,000,000/$3,000,000
Sioux Falls SD $25,000 $1,000,000/$3,000,000
Nashville TN $40,000 $1,000,000/$3,000,000
Houston TX* $30,000 $200,000/$600,000
Houston TX* $40,000 $1,000,000/$3,000,000
Salt Lake City UT $40,000 $1,000,000/$3,000,000
Burlington VT $30,000 $1,000,000/$3,000,000
Seattle WA $40,000 $1,000,000/$3,000,000
Virginia Beach VA $40,000 $2,450,000/$7,350,000
Milwaukee WI $25,000 + PCF $1,000,000/$3,000,000
WV $60,000 $1,000,000/$3,000,000
Cheyenne WY $50,000 $1,000,000/$3,000,000

          * (Only Occurrence; no Claims-Made coverage)

Orthopedic Surgeons and Medical Malpractice Risk

Due to the specialty nature of the surgery they provide, orthopedic surgeons are much more vulnerable to lawsuits than other physicians. Patients who experience poor outcomes, despite receiving the highest standard of care, can become litigious when their expectations aren’t met. According to the same Medscape report from 2021, the top five most common reasons for lawsuits against orthopedic surgeons are:

In addition, one study confirms that malpractice liability for orthopedic surgeons has increased significantly during the past 3 decades, finding that fracture fixation, arthroplasty, and spine cases were the most commonly litigated procedures between 1988 and 2013.

Medical Malpractice Risk Management Saves Money

Even if a malpractice case is dismissed, settled, or the court finds in favor of the orthopedic surgeon, lawsuits can take years to come to an end. The process can be traumatizing to a physician – the stress of defending your practice and reputation can take a severe toll and may even entice you to change the way you practice medicine.

Orthopedic surgeons are often eligible for discounts on their policies upon completion of risk management courses. These CME approved programs are designed to reduce the frequency of malpractice claims, help minimize financial loss to a neurosurgeon’s practice (and therefore loss to the insurance company itself) and improve patient outcomes – all while helping doctors save thousands on their insurance premiums.

It’s also important to note that physicians who complete risk management courses offered by their insurance carrier usually have a better chance of being renewed by that same carrier if a claim is brought against them.

In addition, professional national organizations like the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, and even more localized organization like the Southern Orthopaedic Association and Florida Orthopaedic Society, provide risk management courses that can be completed for credits and discounts. Orthopedic surgeons should also check into their specialty’s professional organizations for the same benefits.

SURGPLI Helps Orthopedic Surgeons Find the Policy That Best Fits Their Needs

At SURGPLI, we specialize in spine or no spine orthopedic surgeon malpractice insurance, so you can always trust that the policies we find for you are exactly what you need to ensure your practice is protected.

SURGPLI works with A-rated carriers that offer great rates on medical malpractice insurance for orthopedic surgeons. With us, you’ll get robust protection and save thousands of dollars on your premium each year.

Contact us for a quote for Orthopedic Surgeon medical malpractice Insurance

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