The severe hardening of the physician medical malpractice insurance market in South Carolina in the 1970â€™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 stateâ€™s JUA and the Patient Compensation Fund in the mid-70â€™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.
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
* 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
|Family Practice No Surgery||$9,486||$6,488||$11,355||2079
|Internal Medicine No Surgery||$10,417||$7,758||$12,340||1463
|Pediatrics No Surgery||$9,581||$6,488||$11,355||847
|Obstetrics and Gynecology Major Surgery||$53,547||$28,210||$94,126||569
|Radiology - Diagnostic||$12,587||$8,182||$15,529||439
|Orthopedic Surgery No Spine||$31,134||$16,926||$49,259||310
|Ophthalmology No Surgery||$6,870||$3,950||$9,492||278
|Cardiovascular Disease Minor Surgery||$15,097||$10,720||$17,140||259
|Gastroenterology No Surgery||$11,417||$8,755||$15,529||192
|Pathology No Surgery||$8,977||$5,642||$11,355||179
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.
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.