The Illinois medical malpractice insurance marketplace is similar to those of other states with one particular exception: physicians practicing in Cook County are now paying lower insurance premiums. In fact, rates across Illinois have decreased due to a “soft” insurance market environment. Physicians are beginning to see a 40 percent reduction in premium costs.

Illinois medical malpractice insurance rates continue to decrease as a whole, but many physicians are still paying high premiums. Physicians practicing in Cook County, for example, are paying one to two times more than their colleagues pay in surrounding counties.

Illinois Tort Reform

In 2005, Illinois enacted a damage cap on non-economic injuries of $500,000 for doctors and $1,000,000 million for hospitals. At that time, there was some debate whether tort reform would create more competition among insurance companies and potentially lower rates. The Illinois Supreme Court struck down the damage caps as unconstitutional five years after it had been established.

Nationally, the medical malpractice insurance market saw a reduction in written premiums of about 4.7 percent between 2013 and 2014. However, Illinois saw a slight increase of 2.8 percent in that same time frame.

The number of medical malpractice payouts was on the rise. In 2014, there was a nationwide 4.4 percent increase in medical malpractice payout amounts according to NPDB studies, for a total of $3.9 billion in payouts. In 2015, payouts were forecasted to increase again to over $4 billion. In Illinois, payout amounts increased 16% between 2013 and 2014, reaching more than $200 million.

Payout increases that outpace the national payout increase do not keep premiums low. For medical malpractice insurance companies, Illinois poses a risk. An investigation by the Better Government Association found that more than $180 million was paid out between 2004 and 2014 in medical malpractice cases resulting in deaths in public hospitals. This number does not take into consideration non-fatal medical malpractice cases or cases in private facilities.

According to the Better Government Association, quality issues, staffing concerns and lack of patient safety programs contributed to the claims. University of Illinois Hospital & Health Sciences System hospital saw a 60 percent reduction in medical malpractice claims between 2006 and 2014 after implementing patient safety programs. The hospital reduced their insurance costs to $25 million in 2014, a 40 percent decrease since 2010, partly as a result of the claim reduction.

How Gallagher Healthcare Can Help

It was during this “hard market” climate that the high cost of malpractice insurance compelled physicians to either move their practices to other states such as Missouri and Indiana, stop performing high-risk procedures, or simply stop practicing medicine altogether.

Fortunately, today's “hard market” has been somewhat mitigated by tort reform in Illinois. When searching for medical malpractice insurance, Illinois healthcare professionals can find affordable malpractice insurance at Gallagher Healthcare. Contact us today to request a free medical malpractice quote.

Major Malpractice Insurance Companies

  • ISMIE Mutual
  • American International Group
  • The Doctors Company
  • Medicus Insurance Company (
  • Medical Protective
  • ProAssurance
  • NORCAL Group
  • Medical Solutions Insurance Company

Illinois Medical Malpractice Insurance Rates By Specialty (Top 15)

Rates depend greatly on specialty. Physicians offering high-risk care, such as surgeons, have higher rates than doctors in lower-risk areas. Prices will vary, though, based on your claim history and location in addition to your specialty. Always talk to an insurance expert to get a more specific quote for your malpractice insurance.

Below are undiscounted state filed rate data averages across all territories for $1m / $3m limits

SpecialtyAverage RateMin RateMax RateCount
Internal Medicine No Surgery$26,566$11,392$65,8877380
Family Practice No Surgery$23,888$9,527$43,5754962
Occupational Medicine$14,294$6,516$31,1103452
Pediatrics No Surgery$20,497$8,783$42,5212727
Emergency Medicine$53,520$22,215$125,4352407
Obstetrics and Gynecology Major Surgery$109,702$41,422$233,8641837
Radiology - Diagnostic$30,256$12,014$55,2921543
General Surgery$73,958$24,853$146,4831380
Orthopedic Surgery No Spine$73,389$24,853$159,453989
Cardiovascular Disease Minor Surgery$38,291$15,740$79,058890
Ophthalmology No Surgery$16,973$5,800$33,355853
Neurology No Surgery$30,659$14,084$52,117695
Gastroenterology No Surgery$29,050$11,615$55,458686
* 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 Illinois.

Illinois 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 Illinois compares to other states.

Malpractice Rate Heat Map - United States