History of the Medical Malpractice Insurance Market
During the late 1990's and early 2000's, many medical malpractice insurance carriers
left the state of West Virginia. Even with a state-formed medical malpractice insurance
fund, doctor owned carriers dominated the market share. With the lack of carriers,
physicians were left with only a few options for liability insurance, most of which
came with relatively high premiums. Although tort reform has steadily decreased
premiums over the years, premiums still remain uncomfortably high and the state
is troubled with numerous claims each year.
West Virginia Medical Malpractice Tort Reform
In 1986, the West Virginia legislature placed a cap of $1,000,000 on non-economic
damages in medical malpractice cases. This cap was lowered in the early 2000's to
$250,000, or $500,000 in special cases with adjustment factors as well as joint and several
liability reforms enacted.
In addition to the caps placed on damages, medical liability lawsuits were required
to present a certificate of merit from experts to help review the standard
of care provided by the physician. The certificate of merit, which is obtained before
the lawsuit is filed, must have the following information:
- The expert's familiarity with the applicable standard of care in question
- The expert's qualifications
- The expert's opinion as to how the breach of applicable standard of care resulted
in injury or death
Summary of the Medical Malpractice Insurance Market
Since the early 2000's, West Virginia has not held many medical malpractice insurance
carriers. Being such a litigious state makes West Virginia unattractive to most
carriers. The carriers that remain offer physicians many of the same options.
- $1,000,000/$3,000,000 Limits of liability
- Consent to settle provision
- Claims-made maturity of 5 years
- Unlimited tail length
- Defense costs that are outside the limits of liability
Major Medical Malpractice Insurance Carriers
- Medicus Insurance Company
- ProAssurance Company, Inc.
- Applied Medico-Legal Solutions RRG Inc.
- West Virginia Mutual Insurance Group
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||$17,923||$11,415||$20,528||953
|Internal Medicine No Surgery||$18,716||$13,651||$20,528||593
|Pediatrics No Surgery||$17,923||$11,415||$20,528||228
|Radiology - Diagnostic||$22,047||$14,396||$25,976||186
|Obstetrics and Gynecology Major Surgery||$83,291||$49,635||$99,546||179
|Orthopedic Surgery No Spine||$51,585||$29,781||$65,757||121
|Cardiovascular Disease Minor Surgery||$26,544||$18,861||$30,560||118
|Ophthalmology No Surgery||$12,622||$6,950||$16,759||110
|Pathology No Surgery||$15,981||$9,927||$19,166||93
|Pulmonary Disease No Surgery||$23,304||$16,877||$30,560||74
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 West Virginia.
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 West Virginia compares to other states.