Pennsylvania physicians and surgeons are faced with some of the highest medical malpractice insurance premiums in the country. The market has stabilized over the years and rates have decreased somewhat due to various reforms made to the laws surrounding medical liability. Each year since 2004 the number of new medical malpractice cases has dropped; this is significant as it reduces the overall cost of Pennsylvania medical liability which results in lower premiums for physician and surgeon policyholders. Malpractice insurance carriers in Pennsylvania have reduced their annual premium rates by an average of 9% since 2005. The Pennsylvania malpractice insurance market consists of two commonly used policy forms: Claims-Made and Occurrence. Each policy type if a good fit for a variety of practice settings; however, the one chosen will greatly depend on the individual physician’s particular needs and long-term plan surrounding their practice.


The Medical Care Availability and Reduction of Error Fund (otherwise known as “MCARE”) was introduced in Pennsylvania in 2002. MCARE is essentially a patient compensation fund managed by the state of Pennsylvania to serve as excess liability insurance coverage for healthcare providers. Pennsylvania providers are required to participate in MCARE and must carry two layers of insurance: (1) a base (or “Primary”) insurance policy obtained in the private market and (2) an excess policy obtained by paying a surcharge to MCARE. The required limits physicians and surgeons must maintain are $1,000,000 per claim and $3,000,000 as an annual aggregate. The primary (private) policy insures the first $500,000 of any claim and the MCARE fund will cover excess losses of up to another $500,000.

Every two years the Pennsylvania Department of Insurance must re-assess the MCARE Fund as the law mandates that the fund be closed at some point in the future. The timing is determined by whether or not the private market can absorb the higher losses associated with insuring more than $500,000 per claim. The closing of MCARE will occur gradually, however, by slightly increasing the primary limits of insurance to $750,000 and slightly decreasing the MCARE “excess” limits to $250,000. The final step to closing the MCARE Fund will mandate that the private market insurers retain 100% of the $1,000,000 per claim limit rather than sharing with MCARE. As of now, the next review to determine the MCARE closing timeline is set for 2014.

Major Pennsylvania Malpractice Insurance Companies

  • Medical Protective
  • Coverys
  • Pennsylvania Physicians Reciprocal Insurer (PaPRI)
  • Markel / Evanston Insurance Company
  • ProAssurance
  • The Doctors Company

Pennsylvania Medical Malpractice Insurance Rates - Top 15 Specialties

Undiscounted State Filed Rate Data averages across all territories for $500K / $1.5M limits

SpecialtyAverage RateMin RateMax RateCount
Internal Medicine No Surgery$13,705$7,088$20,6987448
Family Practice No Surgery$13,372$7,088$20,6986582
Occupational Medicine$8,152$3,757$15,7423891
Emergency Medicine$38,049$19,608$67,8943085
Pediatrics No Surgery$13,599$7,088$20,6982825
Radiology - Diagnostic$18,878$9,478$29,4862026
General Surgery$47,255$19,608$70,2532002
Obstetrics and Gynecology Major Surgery$67,498$32,681$99,9861835
Cardiovascular Disease Minor Surgery$21,914$11,199$34,9371392
Orthopedic Surgery No Spine$41,909$19,608$67,8941298
Ophthalmology No Surgery$8,354$3,757$15,8131057
Gastroenterology No Surgery$13,533$7,088$22,850840
Neurology No Surgery$18,134$10,632$30,609789
* 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.

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 Pennsylvania.

Pennsylvania Medical Malpractice Rate Range Chart

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 Pennsylvania compares to other states.

Malpractice Rate Heat Map - United States