Virginia was one of the first states to enact tort reform to help protect their physicians. During the nation’s first malpractice insurance crisis, the Virginia General Assembly passed the Medical Malpractice Act of 1976 which limited damages to $750,000. This has helped to create a stable malpractice insurance environment in Virginia over the past 30+ years.

The Medical Malpractice Act 1976 limited damages in a malpractice suit to $750,000. The cap was later increased to $1M in 1983 and then again to $1.5M in 1999 and included yearly increases of $50k which took the cap to $1.85M in 2006. In 2007 the cap was increased to $2M and remained at that level until 2012. The cap was set at $2,050,000 as of July 1, 2012 with annual increases of $50k each July 1st until 2031.

The cap has been tested several times in court and has held up each time. It also includes a $350,000 cap on punitive damages and includes the option for either party to request a medical malpractice review panel. The cap in Virginia limits the total payment, as opposed to the caps in many other states that only limit the non-economic damages (pain and suffering, physical and emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of life, etc).

While the insurance cap has stabilized the market, it has also protected physicians from any personal liability from malpractice insurance. Since there is a maximum cap for a lawsuit, Virginia physicians have the ability to insure 100% of their malpractice liability. In most other states, physicians carry a limit of $1M per claim, but could be personally liable in the event the claim pays more than $1M in settlement or judgment. Since the per-claim limit follows the Virginia cap, Virginia physicians carry some of the highest malpractice limits in the nation. The most common limit for the remainder of US physicians is $1M per claim with a $3M policy aggregate. Physcian’s in Virginia carry a substantially higher per claim and policy aggregate limit as per yearly breakout below.

Top Insurance Companies as of January 1st 2012:

  • The Doctors Company
  • Medical Mutual of Maryland
  • Medical Protective
  • Mag Mutual
  • ProAssurance

Cap Limits by Year (source Virginia General Assembly Legislative information system)

  • August 1, 1999, through June 30, 2000 $1.50 million
  • July 1, 2000, through June 30, 2001 $1.55 million
  • July 1, 2001, through June 30, 2002 $1.60 million
  • July 1, 2002, through June 30, 2003 $1.65 million
  • July 1, 2003, through June 30, 2004 $1.70 million
  • July 1, 2004, through June 30, 2005 $1.75 million
  • July 1, 2005, through June 30, 2006 $1.80 million
  • July 1, 2006, through June 30, 2007 $1.85 million
  • July 1, 2007, through June 30, 2008 $1.925 million
  • July 1, 2008, through June 30, 2012 $2.00 million
  • July 1, 2012, through June 30, 2013 $2.05 million
  • July 1, 2013, through June 30, 2014 $2.10 million
  • July 1, 2014, through June 30, 2015 $2.15 million
  • July 1, 2015, through June 30, 2016 $2.20 million
  • July 1, 2016, through June 30, 2017 $2.25 million
  • July 1, 2017, through June 30, 2018 $2.30 million
  • July 1, 2018, through June 30, 2019 $2.35 million
  • July 1, 2019, through June 30, 2020 $2.40 million
  • July 1, 2020, through June 30, 2021 $2.45 million
  • July 1, 2021, through June 30, 2022 $2.50 million
  • July 1, 2022, through June 30, 2023 $2.55 million
  • July 1, 2023, through June 30, 2024 $2.60 million
  • July 1, 2024, through June 30, 2025 $2.65 million
  • July 1, 2025, through June 30, 2026 $2.70 million
  • July 1, 2026, through June 30, 2027 $2.75 million
  • July 1, 2027, through June 30, 2028 $2.80 million
  • July 1, 2028, through June 30, 2029 $2.85 million
  • July 1, 2029, through June 30, 2030 $2.90 million
  • July 1, 2030, through June 30, 2031 $2.95 million
  • July 1, 2031 and after - $3M

Virginia Medical Malpractice Insurance Rates - Top 15 Specialties

Undiscounted State Filed Rate Data averages across all territories for $1m / $3m limits

SpecialtyAverage RateMin RateMax RateCount
Family Practice No Surgery$11,283$7,227$17,1243384
Internal Medicine No Surgery$12,035$8,124$17,1242795
Pediatrics No Surgery$11,701$7,227$17,1241604
Occupational Medicine$6,626$5,027$8,5621503
Emergency Medicine$27,912$18,854$37,6731278
Psychiatry$8,584$5,027$13,6991099
Anesthesiology$12,597$9,114$17,1241024
Obstetrics and Gynecology Major Surgery$57,153$31,424$85,620991
Radiology - Diagnostic$14,626$9,114$21,405887
General Surgery$40,066$18,854$52,012625
Orthopedic Surgery No Spine$31,766$18,854$42,810546
Ophthalmology No Surgery$7,880$4,400$13,699518
Cardiovascular Disease Minor Surgery$16,829$11,714$23,974461
General Practice No Surgery$11,283$7,227$17,124459
Gastroenterology No Surgery$13,661$9,447$17,779359
* 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 Virginia.

Virginia 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 Virginia compares to other states.

Malpractice Rate Heat Map - United States