The severe hardening of the physician medical malpractice insurance market in South Carolina in the 1970’s has receded and, like the rest of the nation, premium levels have fallen as more carriers have re-entered or emerged in the state. Much of the initial improvement is credited to the creation of the state’s JUA and the Patient Compensation Fund in the mid-70’s and recent improvements in the capital markets and carrier expansion and diversification have continued the trends of increased availability and affordability of malpractice insurance.

As of 2011, South Carolina ranked #45 out of 51 (including Washington DC) in average indemnity payout per claim at $174,300 and #21 in claim frequency as measured as the percentage of physicians named in a claim which resulted in a payment (1.28%).

Punitive Damages Reform:

SECTION 15-32-220: Noneconomic damages limited to $350,000 for each claimant, with a stricter standard for negligence in emergency or obstetrical care.

SECTION 15-32-530: In instances where noneconomic damages are awarded, such punitive damages cannot exceed the greater of three times the amount awarded to each claimant or $500,000.

Statute of Limitations:

3 years from the act or omission, or reasonable discovery.

Modified Joint and Several Liability:

Does not apply to any defendant found to be 50% or less at fault for the damages caused. For defendants found less than 50% liable, they will only be held responsible for the applicable portion of fault as determined by the court.

State Patient Compensation Fund:

Enrollment in the South Carolina State Patient Compensation Fund requires underlying primary limits of at least $200,000 / $600,000 and offers a range of limits to sit in excess of the primary layer. Enrollment is voluntary and rates are underwritten individually on a case by case basis.

South Carolina 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
Family Practice No Surgery$9,486$6,488$11,3552079
Internal Medicine No Surgery$10,417$7,758$12,3401463
Occupational Medicine$6,447$4,513$8,706960
Pediatrics No Surgery$9,581$6,488$11,355847
Emergency Medicine$23,173$16,926$27,250715
Obstetrics and Gynecology Major Surgery$53,547$28,210$94,126569
General Surgery$35,151$16,926$46,237561
Radiology - Diagnostic$12,587$8,182$15,529439
Orthopedic Surgery No Spine$31,134$16,926$49,259310
Ophthalmology No Surgery$6,870$3,950$9,492278
Cardiovascular Disease Minor Surgery$15,097$10,720$17,140259
Gastroenterology No Surgery$11,417$8,755$15,529192
Pathology No Surgery$8,977$5,642$11,355179
* 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 South Carolina.

South Carolina 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 South Carolina compares to other states.

Malpractice Rate Heat Map - United States