Surgeons and medical professionals in Utah in search of medical malpractice coverage need robust coverage to protect their reputations and their healthcare facilities. However, since coverage for physicians and other medical professionals is expensive and can be complex in Utah, many professionals turn to Arthur J. Gallagher & Co.
Utah Medical Malpractice Insurance Fast Facts
Doctors who are new to Utah tend to have questions about medical malpractice insurance in the state. In this guide, we'll answer a few commonly asked questions about medical malpractice in Utah:
1. Are You Required to Carry Malpractice Insurance in Utah?
In Utah, you do not need to carry malpractice insurance. However, even though the state itself may not require that physicians carry medical malpractice insurance, you may be required by certain hospitals and other facilities to carry malpractice insurance to work there.
Even if the hospital or facility where you work does not require that physicians carry malpractice insurance, you may still want to purchase insurance, so you are protected financially in the event of a malpractice lawsuit. Practicing without medical malpractice insurance could put your personal finances and professional reputation at risk.
2. How Much Malpractice Insurance Do I Need in Utah?
The amount of physician malpractice insurance in Utah that you'll need depends on your specialty. Physicians who perform surgeries will need more coverage, for example, as their specialty has a higher risk. You can also choose from different policy types, such as occurrence and claims-made policies and tail or nose coverage. For example, with a claims-made policy early in your career, you'll usually receive a lower premium than with an occurrence policy.
3. How Much Are Utah Medical Malpractice Insurance Rates?
How much does medical malpractice insurance cost in Utah? Generally, the price of your insurance rate depends on your specialty, your county and the amount of coverage you choose to carry.
Tort Reform in Utah
In Utah, medical malpractice insurance is expensive, but is lower than in other states. For neurosurgeons, spinal orthopedic surgeons and other specialists in high-risk areas, annual base rate premiums can be higher than $100,000. However, rate relief has taken hold in this state, making Utah a more physician-friendly area.
Malpractice insurance rates in Utah started to climb in 1975, following several medical malpractice lawsuits across the country, which led to insurers closing and insurance rates climbing. As a result of these changes, Utah enacted the Utah Health Care Malpractice Act to regulate how medical malpractice litigation would be handled.
The Act has seen many amendments since its enactment, most notably in 1986, when the state added a $250,000 cap for non-economic damages in medical malpractice claims. In addition to the cap, the amendment requires pre-litigation screening by a panel and also eliminates joint-and-several liability â€” this means claims were considered for their merit before they are allowed to move forward, and defendants can only be held liable for the percentage of their own fault.
Together, these changes serve to lower medical malpractice insurance rates from their 1975 high.
In 1999, the Act was again amended to encourage arbitration. Under the amendment, patients and doctors could sign an agreement stating that, in the case of a disagreement, both parties agreed to a binding arbitration instead of civil trial. Patients needed to be made aware of the arbitration and its terms verbally and in writing, and other terms needed to be met as well.
Ultimately, this arbitration agreement process was dropped after backlash and after the Utah Supreme Court refused to enforce the arbitration agreement signed by a patient and healthcare provider. Instead, the state decided to use caps to keep medical malpractice costs affordable. In 2001, the cap for non-economic damages in medical malpractice claims increased to $400,000. In 2010, the hard cap for non-economic damages was set at $450,000.
Top Carriers in Utah
The list of top medical malpractice insurance carriers frequently changes in every state. As the market changes and companies merge, it can be difficult for individuals to track the top carriers in a state, especially if you're a new resident. That's why so many of our clients at Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. choose to work with us â€” we have national connections to find the right carrier and best coverage for you. At Gallagher, we work with trusted carriers who can offer our clients the best rates and coverage.
Utah Medical Malpractice Insurance Rates by Specialty
Rates depend greatly on specialty. Physicians offering high-risk care 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.
Why Partner With Gallagher in Utah
In Utah, medical malpractice has come a long way. Thanks to a non-economic damages cap, physicians in the state do enjoy a lower premium rate than those in other parts of the country. However, looking for the right insurance coverage is still important to protect your professional future and reputation.
Arthur J. Gallagher & Co.'s Healthcare Practice offers many benefits if you are looking for medical malpractice insurance in Utah:
- We seek out the claims-free, risk management, new-to-practice and other discounts for which you may be eligible.
- We do all the work of seeking the right insurance fit at the right price, so you can focus on your practice.
- We bring you multiple quotes from both A-rated and alternative markets, so you can compare to find the right fit.
- Our liability specialists will examine your needs, bringing you custom solutions for your coverage requirements.
- You will not need separate tail coverage, as your Prior Acts Coverage will be included.
- We work with virtually every malpractice insurance carrier across the country, meaning we can tap into a wider knowledge of the industry to bring you the right solutions.
- As experts in the medical malpractice market, we are a one-stop-solution for your needs.
When you want real-world solutions, customized coverage options and plenty of choices to find the right fit, contact Gallagher Healthcare. We'll listen to you and bring you custom solutions for your medical malpractice insurance needs.
Resource for Physicians in Utah
Though you aren't required to carry medical malpractice insurance in Utah, most physicians choose to do so, as carrying malpractice insurance allows them to work in various hospitals and facilities and protects their finances and reputation in the event of a lawsuit.
Ready to find the right insurance carrier and policy for you? Request a quote from us at Gallagher today.
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 Utah.
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 Utah compares to other states.