Medical malpractice insurance in New York is unique because the NY state is one of fifteen states that has not yet enacted any kind of tort reform policy which caps economic damage payouts. As a result, New York medical malpractice insurance premiums are extremely high.
In 2013, the New York State Insurance Superintendent approved a 2 percent medical malpractice rate increase that further drove up the price of premiums offered by New York malpractice insurance companies. Insurance rates vary widely based on geography and specialization, however. For example, between 2013 and 2014, an allergist in Rochester County had average rates of $1,905 while that same year neurosurgeons in Long Island Counties faced premium rates of $331,295.
New York Medical Malpractice Insurance
In New York, patients who want to file a medical malpractice claim against their doctor or health care provider usually have 30 months to do so under statutes of limitations. There are, however, exceptions for foreign objects left in a patient’s body and for plaintiffs who are minor children. In addition, if the plaintiff was mentally disabled or mentally ill or if a physician has left the state since the alleged incident occurred, plaintiffs have more time.
This means physicians need to consider robust medical malpractice insurance in New York, since they may find themselves facing legal action years after an alleged issue took place. In addition, New York has no caps on what plaintiffs can be awarded in a legal action stemming from a medical malpractice claim, meaning health care practitioners must have considerable coverage.
New York, however, does place a sliding scale cap on attorney contingency fees. A plaintiff working with an attorney and receiving a settlement of $2 million, for example, can expect to pay no more than 10% of the award as a contingency fee. This, combined with no cap on damages, can create an environment favorable to plaintiffs and far less favorable to health professionals.
How Much Are New York Malpractice Insurance Rates?
With doctors, hospitals and nursing homes hounded by frivolous claims, the cost of healthcare for New Yorkers is forcing doctors out of the state simply because they cannot afford to pay for a New York medical malpractice insurance plan.
Unfortunately, New York seems to encourage these baseless claims by allowing outdated standards of evidence laws that are well below the standard conditions used by other states. Under New York expert witness laws, for example, podiatrists are permitted to testify in neurosurgery cases. Moreover, plaintiff attorneys don’t have to disclose witness names until the moment the trial begins. In fact, witness names have to be “requested,” according to N.Y. CVP. LAW § 3101.This “trial by ambush” action has transformed the New York justice system into nothing more than an unethical game played only for profit.
Physicians Reciprocal Insurance (PRI), Medical Liability Mutual Insurance Company (MLMIC), and Medical Malpractice Insurance Pool, aka. “The Pool”, are the only admitted carriers in New York, which means there is little to no competition among medical malpractice insurance companies. In recent years, Risk Retention Groups (RRGs) have emerged as a viable option for hospitals. RRGs offer competitive premium rates and a new source of competition.
The standard limits of liability in New York are either $1,300,000 per claim limit with $3,900,000 aggregate limit or $1,000,000 per claim limit with $3,000,000 aggregate limit. Hospitals require physicians to carry at least $1,000,000 per claim limit with $3,000,000 aggregate limit.
Also unique to New York is the large number of occurrence policies written. Occurrence policies cover claims based on the date the incident occurred. Although these policies are expensive, they do provide coverage for physicians indefinitely. New York is also one of the few remaining states that continue to write unlimited occurrence policies. Alternately, for claims-made policies that are written, the maximum maturation of a policy is eight years.
Tort Reform in NY—Will It Happen?
The debate over whether New York legislators should establish tort reform is ongoing. Although sustained efforts to pass tort reform are slowly making headway, the failed aspects of tort reform are causing the most difficulties for physicians who continue to pay high medical malpractice insurance costs.
While caps on punitive damages exist, economic and non-economic damages are not capped, resulting in large amounts of damage being paid to plaintiffs. In fact, payouts have dramatically risen since the 1970s, leading to medical malpractice insurance companies that have paid out more than $500,000,000 in damages. To learn more about how Gallagher Healthcare can help with affordable New York medical malpractice insurance, contact us today.
New York Insurance Companies:
- Physicians Reciprocal Insurers (PRI)
- Medical Liability Mutual Insurance Company (MLMIC)
- Medical Malpractice Insurance Pool (MMIP)
- MedPro RRG Risk Retention Group
- Applied Medico-Legal Solutions Risk Retention Group, Inc.
- Coverys RRG, Inc.
- Lone Star Alliance Inc.
New York Medical Malpractice Fast Facts
Here are some stats from the New York health care field:
- New York has more doctors than any other state, but it also has one of the toughest insurance environments for these professionals.
- Two insurance companies have a large portion of the insurance market in New York, and the insurance environment in the state has required government intervention in the past several years.
- Some doctors have moved to RRG’s to handle higher insurance costs.
- Insurance limits of $1.3 million/$3.9 million are generally required by hospitals.
New York Medical Malpractice Claims Analysis
New York Medical Malpractice Insurance Rates - Top 15 Specialties
Undiscounted State Filed Rate Data averages across all territories for $1m / $3m limits
* Please note that the above rates are state filed rates. It is not
uncommon for Gallagher Healthcare clients to receive up to 50% or more in discounts
from state filed rates. Please Request a Quote to receive a custom premium indication.
|Specialty||Average Rate||Min Rate||Max Rate||Count
|Internal Medicine No Surgery||$23,529||$6,072||$40,535||10306
|Pediatrics No Surgery||$17,844||$4,337||$40,535||4948
|Family Practice No Surgery||$27,480||$5,031||$74,931||4682
|Radiology - Diagnostic||$57,324||$9,599||$170,723||2903
|Obstetrics and Gynecology Major Surgery||$172,916||$30,680||$547,644||2848
|Cardiovascular Disease Minor Surgery||$37,255||$10,776||$68,473||2264
|Ophthalmology No Surgery||$11,432||$1,888||$32,428||1851
|Gastroenterology No Surgery||$32,912||$6,843||$81,998||1537
|Neurology No Surgery||$26,948||$6,651||$50,669||1465
|Orthopedic Surgery No Spine||$114,775||$16,187||$408,180||1272
Rate Range by Specialty
This chart compares the range of possible state filed medical malpractice premium rates by admitted markets and a few Gallagher Select markets broken out by the top 15 specialties in New York.
USA Ranking Map
The map below provides a visual display of the nation and compares what a typical primary care physician might pay compared to each individual state and county. This research is based on the average rate for a single specialty, the most common limits in that state, and the mature claims made premium. The darker the blue, the higher the average premium, see how New York compares to other states.
Why Choose Gallagher Healthcare
If you practice in this state, contact Gallagher Healthcare to review possible insurance solutions. We review all options with you and aggressively seek out new options, so you always have choices — even in a more challenging environment such as New York. We also offer personalized attention, working with you to find the right coverage fit for your needs.