Medical malpractice insurance refers to a protection agreement between a health care provider and an insurance company. Like the name, the physician wishing to get insured pays a fee to an insurer that offers legal representation and protection against a settlement or verdict up to a certain amount.
Maryland is one of the states in the US with confusing laws as regards Medical Malpractice insurance. For example, while medical professionals are not compelled by the law to have this insurance policy. However, hospitals and clinics in the state might require that their medical staff carry this coverage.
In this Medical Malpractice Insurance Guide, we will explain everything as regards this insurance policy. We will also provide you with useful information about the companies that offer the best options at the moment and the estimated costs.
- The 6 best medical malpractice insurance companies in Maryland
- Medical malpractice insurance laws in Maryland
- What does medical malpractice insurance cover in Maryland?
- What doesn’t Maryland medical malpractice insurance cover?
- Claims made vs. Occurrence in Maryland medical malpractice insurance
- Who needs medical malpractice insurance in Maryland?
- How much does medical malpractice insurance cost in Maryland?
- How to find cheap medical malpractice insurance in Maryland
The 6 best medical malpractice insurance companies in Maryland
- CoverWallet: Best for comparing quotes
- Medical Mutual: Overall best
- Gallagher Insurance: Best for rich experience in providing medical malpractice insurance in Maryland
- ProAssurance: Best medical malpractice insurance for OB/GYNS doctors
- Aspen American Insurance Company: Best for doctors with good claims history
- The Doctors Company: Best for doctors in general
CoverWallet: Best for comparing quotes
To get the best deals on medical malpractice insurance, you must compare quotes across several carriers. Unfortunately, doing that is easier than it sounds since most companies that offer medical malpractice insurance do not give online quotes. CoverWallet is an insurance broker that helps to solve this problem. That means, they do not have one single insurance policy of their own. Instead, they partner with the industry leaders in insurance and they provide the best quotes for you.
Medical Mutual: Overall best
The Medical Mutual Liability Insurance Society of Maryland was founded with one goal in mind: to serve Maryland’s doctors. Medical Mutual is the state’s leading medical professional liability insurer, and it is the only insurer that has consistently protected Maryland physicians since 1975.
The unique feature that makes Medical Mutual stand out is probably the fact that it is owned and operated by medical practitioners. As a result, the insurer offers comprehensive coverage options, aggressive claims defense, and extensive risk management support. Medical Mutual is a strong and financially stable company with an A.M. Best rating of “A” (Excellent).
Gallagher Healthcare Insurance: Best for a rich experience in providing medical malpractice insurance in Maryland
Gallagher Healthcare is a specialty division of Arthur J. Gallagher & Co., one of the world’s largest insurance brokerages. Like CoverWallet, they do not provide insurance coverages. However, they help doctors find customized solutions to meet their specific requirements. The team has some expert agents that negotiate and compare medical malpractice insurance solutions for doctors before giving you the best options available. The company partners with all major A-rated carriers and alternative markets. As a result, you can trust that they can provide you with the best available options in the insurance marketplace.
ProAssurance: Best medical malpractice insurance for OB-GYNS
ProAssurance Group has a long history of being one of the most financially sound healthcare liability providers in the industry. Asides from being one of the best providers in Maryland, ProAssurance ranks amongst the top-ten malpractice insurance carriers in the US. They have a special Ob-Gyn Risk Alliance developed specifically for Ob-Gyns, which insures doctors and surgeons that specialize in OB/GYN. A.M. Best rates ProAssurance Corporation “A” (Excellent) for its assets of approximately $4.8 billion.
Aspen American Insurance Company: Best for doctors in Maryland with good claims history
Aspen American Insurance Company is an excellent choice for qualifying physicians. Aspen can offer great coverage at very competitive rates in Maryland, by only insuring doctors with near-perfect claims histories. Many doctors will not qualify for Aspen coverage, but those who do can save thousands of dollars. This is especially true for orthopedic surgeons, general surgeons, plastic surgeons, anesthesiologists, and primary care providers. Aspen is rated “A” (Excellent) by A.M. Best for its quality insurance coverage.
The Doctors Company: Best for doctors in general
The Doctors Company (TDC), founded during the 1970s California medical malpractice insurance crisis, is the largest physician-owned malpractice insurance carrier. The mission of the company is simple: to advance, protect, and reward the practice of good medicine. In most states, The Doctors Company is an excellent choice for doctors. The Doctors Company is rated “A” Excellent by AM Best and offers a loyalty program called The Tribute Plan to its members. The Doctors Company is the leading medical malpractice insurance carrier in Maryland and is ranked highly in some other states.
Medical malpractice insurance laws in Maryland
As a medical practitioner in Maryland, the laws of the state do not require that you have malpractice insurance. However, good doctors know that they should have one. That’s because, mistakes can happen anytime and to anyone but for doctors, mistakes can be very costly. Sometimes, the lives of people might be at stake. Therefore, carrying malpractice insurance is more like being responsible as a medical practitioner.
As a result, most hospitals and health care facilities in Maryland do not employ professionals without malpractice insurance. Also, healthcare providers in Maryland that do not have malpractice insurance cannot take part in certain activities.
In 2004, there was a serious problem in Maryland that almost forced the biggest medical practitioners to leave the state. To solve the problem, the house of Representatives passed an emergency bill called The Maryland Patients’ Access to Quality Health Care Act. The bill was vetoed by the then governor with support from other people in the state.
Eventually, however, in the first quarter of 2005, HB2 was passed and became law. One of the most important aspects of this bill was the cap is placed on “non-economic” damages. For incidents occurring between January 1, 2005, and December 31, 2008, the non-economic damages were limited to $650,000. Beginning in 2009, this cap automatically increased by $15,000 each year.
What does medical malpractice insurance cover in Maryland?
Medical malpractice insurance generally covers medical professionals for legal defense costs, and any other medical damages to clients for mistakes or neglects that occur during service.
What doesn’t medical malpractice insurance cover in Maryland?
Medical malpractice insurance in Maryland typically does not cover the following:
- Harming your patient internationally
- Hospital administration errors
- Illegal acts like sexual misconduct
Claims made vs. Occurrence in Maryland medical malpractice insurance
When choosing medical malpractice insurance in Maryland, doctors usually have two options; claims made and occurrence. As a medical practitioner, you must understand the differences between the two.
Claims-made malpractice insurance provides coverage for you only if the policy was active at the time of the incident as well as when the claim is filed. That is, if you file a claim after the policy’s expiration date, it will not get the needed coverage.
On the other hand, occurrence malpractice will cover all incidents that happen during the policy year regardless of when the claim is reported to the carrier.
Considering the flaw in the protection of the claims made insurance, medical practitioners usually purchase tail insurance alongside their claims made insurance in Maryland. Tail insurance, also known as an Extended Reporting Period Endorsement, is sold separately and can be purchased from the incumbent carrier. You may also purchase one from another carrier if you feel the rates suit you better.
For better understanding take this as an example. Let’s assume you are a plastic surgeon practicing in Chicago with an occurrence policy with ABC insurance company. Due to family pressure, you decided to relocate here to Maryland. Then, one of your old patients in Chicago files a malpractice claim that you didn’t perform a breast implant surgery 5 years ago. Even though you have now moved to Maryland with a new insurance company here, ABC Insurance company will still cover you for that claim since it is under the period you were covered by their occurrence policy.
However, if you have a claims-made policy at the time, and the malpractice claim is filed after you have left Chicago, ABC insurance company will not cover such claims. The only way they will is if you unless you have tail coverage during the opt-in period. Also, your new Maryland carrier will not cover such claims except you buy a claims-made coverage with prior acts policy.
Who needs medical malpractice insurance in Maryland?
All healthcare professionals are likely to need medical malpractice insurance coverage in Maryland. Even not required by state laws, hospitals and healthcare facilities are likely require their employees to have the coverage. Medical malpractice insurance for each healthcare specialty has some different nuances and likely has different best providers. Below are our recommendations of the best providers for each specialty:
- Doctors – The 5 Best Providers of Medical Malpractice Insurance
- Psychologists – Top 4 Providers of Malpractice Insurance for Psychologists and Counselors
- Nurses – The Best 4 Providers of Nursing Malpractice Insurance
- Nurse practitioners: The Best Malpractice Insurance for Nurse Practitioners
- Dentists – Top 5 Providers of Dental Malpractice Insurance
- Dental hygienists – The Best Malpractice Insurance for Dental Hygienists
- Physician’s assistants – The Best Malpractice Insurance for Physician’s Assistants
- Physical Therapists – The 6 Best Malpractice Insurance Providers for Physical Therapists
- Chiropractors – 4 Best Choices for Cheap Chiropractic Malpractice Insurance
- Pharmacists – The Best Malpractice Insurance for Pharmacists and Costs
How much does medical malpractice insurance cost in Maryland?
The rates for medical malpractice insurance in Maryland are almost the same across all locations. That’s because most carriers consider Maryland as a single territory state. Therefore, your address might not count towards the amount you will pay for a premium in Maryland like in other states.
Other factors that will determine the cost of your premium in Maryland include your profession in medicine, the limits of the coverage and the type of policy you require. As a surgeon in OB/GYN surgeon for instance, you might need to pay more for your premium in Maryland than a regular physician who does not perform surgeries. That’s because your line of work is riskier.
Also, whether you are choosing a claims-made or an occurrence policy will affect the cost of your premium. Adding up a nose coverage or a tail policy might also increase the cost of the policy.
Generally speaking, the following are some of the averages for medical malpractice insurance in Maryland for liability limits between $1 million and $3 million
- OB/gyn: $74,000
- General Surgeon: $41,500
- Internal Medicine: $12,300
Make sure you shop around with a few companies or a digital broker to compare several quotes before making the final decision.
How to find cheap medical malpractice insurance in Maryland
Medical malpractice insurance is necessary, yet can be expensive. Finding affordable medical malpractice insurance in Maryland is possible with the following tips:
- Shop around for the best value. Get quotes from a few companies or compare the multiple quotes generated by a service like CoverWallet.
- Don’t stop shopping around. Make sure you get new quotes before you renew your policy.
- Take advantage of discounts. If they’re not offered to you when getting a quote, ask about them, whether you’re buying online or through an agent.
- Following and practicing all safety guidelines. Always apply any safety guidelines and practices that are advised by your institutions and associations.
Taking these steps will help ensure you’re not paying too much for your medical malpractice insurance in Maryland.