Medical malpractice insurance rates in Tennessee only recently became an intense focus in the state. In the 1990s, it was apparent there was a legitimate issue due to the number of physicians practicing the high-risk specialties significantly declining. During this decade, 70 percent of all Tennessee doctors had dealt with board and claim issues at one point or another. This litigious behavior in the state caused medical malpractice insurance premiums among the insurance carriers to raise at unprecedented rates, with the State's largest writer, State Volunteer Mutual Insurance Company (SVMIC), raising premium rates by over 100% for many of the high-risk specialties. Ultimately, this resulted in the start of significant tort reform.
Tennessee Malpractice Tort Reform
The first notable tort reform was passed in 2008, which focused primarily on eliminating frivolous claims. It addressed the following:
- Providers must be given a 60-day written notice that they could potentially have a complaint filed against them
- Certificate of Good Faith clause â€“ Within a 90-day window after a complaint, plaintiffs must consult with one or more â€œtop-ratedâ€ witnesses and receive a written statement stating that the aforementioned witness believes in good faith that the complaint has merit
Very recent tort reform in 2011 built on this precedent and added a cap on non-economic damages of $750,000. There are instances where this cap will not apply such as intentional misconduct, record destruction, or any conduct related to drugs or alcohol. The cap is raised to $1,000,000 if the incident resulted in paraplegia, amputation, burns, or the wrongful death of a parent with children. The result of the tort reform action has been, as expected, lower rates. Over the long term, the mindset is that these decreasing rates will help ensure a robust, high-risk specialty atmosphere.
Major Medical Malpractice Insurance Companies
- State Volunteer Mutual Insurance Company (SVMIC)
- Capson Insurance Company
- Medical Protective Company
- Applied Medico-Legal Solutions (AMS)
- The Doctors Company
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
|Internal Medicine No Surgery||$10,854||$6,973||$17,624||1970
|Family Practice No Surgery||$9,828||$5,831||$13,483||1923
|Pediatrics No Surgery||$9,751||$5,831||$16,620||899
|Radiology - Diagnostic||$13,391||$7,353||$25,952||729
|Obstetrics and Gynecology Major Surgery||$47,728||$25,353||$77,019||620
|Orthopedic Surgery No Spine||$29,454||$15,212||$52,345||419
|Cardiovascular Disease Minor Surgery||$12,996||$9,634||$16,986||402
|Ophthalmology No Surgery||$6,307||$3,550||$9,706||328
|Gastroenterology No Surgery||$12,183||$7,850||$20,929||299
|Pathology No Surgery||$9,876||$5,071||$17,624||279
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 Tennessee.
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 Tennessee compares to other states.