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Malpractice Insurance Costs for Different Professions

Malpractice insurance is a type of professional liability insurance. Malpractice insurance most often applies to healthcare workers and lawyers. This type of insurance protects you if you are sued to have made any mistakes that harm a client or a patient. 

Different professions might cause different types of risks in their work, therefore malpractice insurance might cost differently. Below are the costs of malpractice insurance policies for healthcare and legal workers in different professions.

How Much Does Malpractice Insurance Cost in Different Professions?

ProfessionAverage annual cost of malpractice insuranceRelevant articles 
Doctors$7,500The 5 Best Providers of Medical Malpractice Insurance
Physician Assistants$4,000 The 5 Best Providers of Malpractice Insurance for Physician Assistants
Nurse Practitioners $650The 5 Best Malpractice Insurance Companies for Nurse Practitioners
Nursing Students $35The 5 Best Malpractice Insurance Companies for Nursing Students
Optometrists$700Top 5 Providers of Optometry Malpractice Insurance
Dentists$400 for a new dentist, $2,000 for established dentistsTop 5 Providers of Dental Malpractice Insurance
Dental hygienists$65The 4 Best Malpractice Insurance Companies for Dental Hygienists
Psychologists and counselors $1,125Top 4 Providers of Malpractice Insurance for Psychologists and Counselors
Chiropractors $540 4 Best Choices for Cheap Chiropractic Malpractice Insurance
Physical therapists $157The 6 Best Malpractice Insurance Providers for Physical Therapists
Social workers $370Social Work Malpractice Insurance: Cost and Providers
Lawyers $1,850Top 5 Providers of Legal Malpractice Insurance & How Much It Costs

Note: These are estimates only. The amount you pay for insurance will depend on things like:

  • Amount of coverage
  • Deductible
  • Specialty
  • Location
  • Claims history
  • How long you’ve been practicing

The amount you pay could be very different from the average cost listed above. You may also get very different costs from different insurance companies as well. It is always wise to shop around with 3-5 insurance companies to compare costs before making the decision.

How Much does Malpractice Insurance Cost Doctors?

Malpractice insurance for doctors: How much doctors pay in malpractice insurance varies according to what specialty they have. Surgeons pay between $30,000 and $50,000 a year. Plastic surgeons pay more, but the specialty that pays the most is obstetricians. 

While there is currently no federal law requiring doctors carry malpractice insurance, many states do require it. Since doctors are often the target of multi-million dollar lawsuits, most doctors should have some coverage. 

>>MORE: The 5 Best Providers of Medical Malpractice Insurance

RecommendationThe Doctor’s Company

The Doctor’s Company is the nation’s largest physician-owned malpractice insurer. They insure 80,000 physicians worldwide. Since the company is owned by doctors, they know what a doctor needs from their malpractice insurance. They offer online quoting, free tail coverage and cyber liability insurance as part of your coverage.

How Much does Malpractice Insurance Cost Physician Assistants?

Physician Assistants: In some states, physician assistants work closely with a supervising doctor, and in some states they have a lot of freedom and are just a step short of being a doctor. Either way, PA’s need malpractice insurance because anyone can make a mistake and mistakes in this field can severely impact someone’s health. 

The costs vary, but are in the range of $2,500 to $4,500 a year. Be sure to shop around to find the best price for you. We compared quotes from three leading providers of malpractice insurance for physician assistants: Berxi, Proliability, and CM&F and the lowest quote is from Proliability at $2,158 for $1M/$3M coverage.

Recommendation: CM&F for comprehensive coverage or Proliability for cheapest cost

CM&F provides the only malpractice insurance endorsed by the American Academy of Physician Assistants. They have a good reputation, and they’ve been around for over a hundred years. You can get a 10% discount if you complete one online legal medicine class. 

>>MORE: The 5 Best Providers of Malpractice Insurance for Physician Assistants

How Much does Malpractice Insurance Cost Nurse Practitioners or Nursing Students?

Nurses: Many nurses believe they are immune to lawsuits because they carry out a doctor’s orders, but that is not true. There are instances of misinterpretation or outright mistakes that can leave a nurse vulnerable to a lawsuit. Many nurses falsely believe their employer will protect them, but that’s not necessarily true either. Your employer will act in their own best interest. Malpractice insurance for nurses is fairly inexpensive, so it pays to have that extra bit of protection. For nurse practitioners, you may expect to pay $500-$900 a year. For nursing students, it only costs $40-70 a year to have malpractice insurance coverage.

Recommendation: NSO  – Nursing Service Organization

Nurses can get comprehensive polices for a relatively low cost from NSO, which caters directly to nurses. If you’re a student or a recent graduate, you can get up to a 60% discount. Online quoting is easy, and they have a library of articles and videos for you to reference. Nurses can get health and dental insurance though NSO. 

>>MORE: The 5 Best Malpractice Insurance Companies for Nurse Practitioners

>>MORE: The 5 Best Malpractice Insurance Companies for Nursing Students

How Much does Malpractice Insurance Cost Optometrists?

Optometrists: Optometrists are most often sued for failing to diagnose a disease or condition. After all, most people are extremely dependent on their vision. Optometrists need to protect their practices and their licenses. Depending on the size of the optometry practice, the malpractice insurance cost may vary in the range of $500-$2,000 a year.

Recommendation: Lockton Affinity

Lockton Affinity is endorsed by the AOA (American Optometrists Association). Recent graduates get a 50% discount for the first two years of insurance. You can get cyber liability insurance or business owners insurance as well. 

>>MORE: Top 5 Providers of Optometry Malpractice Insurance

How Much does Malpractice Insurance Cost Dentists?

Dentists: Some of the reasons dentists get sued include when a procedure leads to nerve damage, failing to detect cancer, or bite problems due to a dental procedure. Some successful malpractice claims against dentists paid hundreds of thousands of dollars. Costs vary according to specialty. 

Recommendation: Dentist’s Advantage

Dentist’s Advantage insures—as you might have guessed—only dentists, so they know what dentists need in a malpractice insurance policy. You can choose deductibles from $0 to $10,000, and the maximum coverage is $5 million per occurrence and $6 million annual aggregate. They offer other types of business insurance, too, so if you’re a dentist you can get all of your insurance in the same place. 

>>MORE: Top 5 Providers of Dental Malpractice Insurance

How Much does Malpractice Insurance cost Dental Hygienists?

Dental hygienists: While the risk of injuring someone as a dental hygienists is not as high as doing so as a dentist, there is still a risk. There were almost 5,000 lawsuits filed against dental hygienists in the past ten years. Luckily, malpractice insurance for hygienists is inexpensive, about $60-$70 a year. 

Recommendation: CM&F

CM&F offers comprehensive coverage for dental hygienists with 24/7 coverage. They can offer you an online quote, and you can purchase the coverage right on the website. You can download or print proof of coverage immediately. 

>>MORE: The 4 Best Malpractice Insurance Companies for Dental Hygienists

How Much does Malpractice Insurance Cost Psychologists or Counselors?

Psychologists and Counselors: Since psychologists and counselors deal with vulnerable people, malpractice insurance is a good idea. 

Recommendation: The Trust

The Trust was established by a group of psychologists in 1962 and they are one of the most popular providers of insurance for those in the mental health profession. They have a broad range of policies, insuring everyone from graduate students to seasoned professionals. You can fill out an application online and they will get back to you.

>>MORE: Top 4 Providers of Malpractice Insurance for Psychologists and Counselors

How Much does Malpractice Insurance Cost Chiropractors?

Chiropractors: Back pain is the 6th most common condition in the United States. Chances are you know someone, or you, yourself have suffered from debilitating back pain. Luckily, most chiropractor mistakes do not result in serious injury, so malpractice insurance is fairly reasonable. On the other hand, settlements can be millions of dollars. 

Recommendation: ChiroSecure

ChiroSecure has been in business for 30 years, and they insure only chiropractors. They have online quoting which is almost instantaneous. They have other types of insurance, too, so you can get all the insurance you need from them. 

>>MORE: 4 Best Choices for Cheap Chiropractic Malpractice Insurance

How Much does Malpractice Insurance Physical Therapists?

Physical Therapists: Similar to chiropractors, physical therapists help injured people recover their mobility or ease their pains. Things can go south and they might find themselves being sued. Getting malpractice insurance is a great step to protect themselves. Malpractice insurance for physical therapists isn’t very expensive, it ranges from $50-200 a year. Be sure to shop around to compare quotes.

Recommendation: We recommend Berxi, a Berkshire Hathaway company owned by Warren Buffet for its stellar reputation and the lowest cost. Its malpractice insurance quote for physical therapists is only $50 a year.

>>MORE: The 6 Best Malpractice Insurance Providers for Physical Therapists

How Much does Malpractice Insurance Cost Social Workers?

Social workers: Even quite unlikely, social workers can still be used for their misconduct. No states require social workers to have malpractice insurance, but it is a necessity to protect you. It is relatively inexpensive, from $150-$400 a year, depending if you are employed or self-employed.

Recommendation: We recommend HPSO, Healthcare Providers Service Organization, a reputable malpractice insurance provider for healthcare workers. Its quotes are also among the cheapest ones for social workers.

>>MORE: Social Work Malpractice Insurance: Cost and Providers

How Much does Malpractice Insurance Cost Lawyers?

Malpractice insurance for lawyers: Although most states don’t require lawyers to have malpractice insurance, at least 26 states require lawyers to notify their clients in writing if they don’t have it. Common reasons for clients to sue their lawyer include misfiling paperwork, missing deadlines, inadequate investigation, or failure to follow instructions. Attorneys in higher risk fields, such as class action work and intellectual property pay more. 

>>MORE: Top 5 Providers of Legal Malpractice Insurance & How Much It Costs

Recommendation: 360 Coverage Pros

Coverage Pros has malpractice insurance for attorneys starting as low as $800. Limits are up to $10 million dollars, although your firm must be smaller than 19 lawyers to qualify. You can apply online. 

Last Thoughts

No matter what your profession, malpractice insurance can provide you with peace of mind. America is litigious, and someone doesn’t really need a good reason to sue you. Even if the case is dismissed, it’s a lot of mental stress and court costs. Malpractice insurance will protect your reputation and your license.

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