Florida Medical Professional Liability Insurance Market Summary

Doctors in Florida have many options for medical malpractice insurance, some good and some not as good. The top insurers are:

  • The Doctor’s Company

  • MedPro

  • MAG Mutual Insurance Company

  • Norcal

  • ProAssurance Insurance Group

  • Aspen

  • Coverys

  • ISMIE

These companies are considered the top insurers in Florida due to their A.M. Best A-rating, their history, their long-term financial solvency, and their track records of successfully defending Floridian physicians.

Each carrier uses its own proprietary methods of setting rates, causing rates to vary between carriers and specialties. To get a wide range of A-rated carrier quotes through a single point of contact, work with a broker such as MEDPLI. You can get a quote through us today.

Malpractice Insurance Rates for Floridian Doctors

Rates for medical malpractice insurance are slightly higher than the national average and vary by location. Doctors working in cities like Miami and Orlando will pay higher rates than those in less-populated locales.

When insurance companies set rates, they consider location, specialty, and past claims history for a physician’s malpractice insurance policy. Each malpractice insurance policy is underwritten individually, but the following rates are estimates to give you an idea of costs by specialty.

See below for approximate rates across all territories for limits of $250,000 Each Claim/$750,000 Aggregate (the most common limits of liability in Florida). Higher-risk specialties may need more coverage. Since MEDPLI specializes in medical malpractice insurance specifically for Florida doctors, don’t hesitate to reach out for a personalized quote based on your unique needs.

Specialty Approximate Claims Made Rate Approximate Tail Rate Approximate Occurrence Rate
Anesthesiology $19,000 $38,000 $22,800
Cardiovascular Disease Minor Surgery $26,000 $52,000 $31,200
Dermatology No Surgery $10,000 $20,000 $12,000
Emergency Medicine $33,000 $66,000 $39,600
Family Practice No Surgery $16,000 $32,000 $19,200
General Surgery $61,000 $122,000 $73,200
Internal Medicine No Surgery $17,000 $34,000 $20,400
Obstetrics and Gynecology Major Surgery $77,000 $154,000 $92,400
Occupational Medicine $11,000 $22,000 $13,200
Ophthalmology Major Surgery $19,000 $38,000 $22,800
Orthopedic Surgery No Spine $43,000 $86,000 $51,600
Pathology No Surgery $16,000 $32,000 $19,200
Pediatrics No Surgery $15,000 $30,000 $18,000
Psychiatry $11,000 $22,000 $13,200
Radiology – Diagnostic $25,000 $50,000 $30,000

Medical Malpractice Insurance Requirements for Florida in 2022

As a condition of licensing and maintaining an active license, and prior to the issuance or renewal of an active license or reactivation of an inactive license for the practice of medicine, an applicant must:

  • Obtain and maintain professional liability coverage in an amount not less than $100,000 per claim, with a minimum annual aggregate of not less than $300,000, from an authorized insurer – or –

  • Establish and maintain an escrow account consisting of cash or assets eligible for deposit in the per claim amounts specified above – or –

  • Obtain and maintain a letter of credit in an amount not less than $100,000 per claim, with a minimum aggregate availability of credit of not less than $300,000.

Physicians who perform surgery in an ambulatory surgical center licensed under chapter 395 and, as a continuing condition of staff privileges, must establish financial responsibility by one of the following methods:

  • Obtain and maintain professional liability coverage in an amount not less than $250,000 per claim, with a minimum annual aggregate of not less than $750,000 from an authorized insurer – or –

  • Establish and maintain an escrow account consisting of cash or assets eligible for deposit in the per claim amounts specified above – or –

  • Obtain and maintain a letter of credit in an amount not less than $250,000 per claim, with a minimum aggregate availability of credit of not less than $750,000.

Most Florida doctors carry malpractice insurance that covers $250,000.00 per claim /$750,000.00 aggregate, though surgeons, OB/GYNs, and other physicians seeking higher limits will opt for $1,000,000.00 per claim/$3,000,000.00 aggregate.

If you’re deciding between carrying medical malpractice insurance or using secured assets to cover claims, MEDPLI’s recommendation is that carrying medical malpractice insurance from an A-rated carrier is the most cost-effective way to protect yourself.

The general recommendation for all doctors is to carry coverage at $1,000,000.00 per claim/$3,000,000.00 aggregate since it offers robust protection and health care centers in Florida sometimes require these limits before allowing admitting privileges.

Medical Malpractice Insurance and COVID-19 in Florida

In March 2021, the state became the most populous state to enact legislation that shields health care providers from COVID-19 injury and death lawsuits. The measure gives civil immunity to hospitals and nursing homes, among others, as long as the alleged negligence “doesn’t involve gross negligence or intentional misconduct”.

As of November 2021, new COVID-19 legislation is expected to be introduced by Governor DeSantis. According to a Florida news source, upcoming legislation would:

  • prohibit employers from requiring workers to be vaccinated without also providing exemptions (like medical or religious reasons, prior infections, periodic COVID testing, or additional personal-protective equipment

  • reinforce an already-existing law that prevents government employers from requiring workers to be vaccinated

  • reinforce the Parents’ Bill of Rights by clarifying that parents have sole discretion over whether children wear masks in school or are vaccinated

  • prohibit quarantining of asymptomatic students and teachers

Spikes in COVID-19 and the Delta variant have caused hospitals in Florida to become overwhelmed to the point where doctors in other specialties are being asked to treat COVID-19 patients. Given the influx of patients and the strains placed on the Floridian healthcare system, it is still recommended that doctors carry medical malpractice insurance to protect their own financial assets and practices.

Telemedicine in Florida

Florida’s telehealth landscape still has several barriers to overcome to make the platform more accessible to its residents. Florida’s telehealth emergency waivers ended on June 26, 2021, and the state does not legally require private payers or Medicaid to cover telemedicine services the same way as in-person services.

Still, COVID-19 has created a higher demand for telemedicine in Florida. Doctors treating patients via telephone or video call must be licensed in the state where their patient is located, and they are subject to the same liability as doctors meeting with patients face-to-face. Out-of-state health care practitioners must be registered with the Florida Department of Health to perform telehealth services for patients in Florida. Out-of-state doctors who are considering practicing telemedicine in Florida will most likely need additional malpractice insurance that covers practicing telehealth with Florida patients. Physicians need to check their existing policies and talk with a medical malpractice insurance broker to make sure their professional liability coverage extends to telehealth in Florida.

Tort Reform in Florida

Tort Reform in Florida is an ongoing saga. Starting in the 1980s, Florida’s state legislators passed tort reform packages that prevented plaintiffs from taking advantage of the jury system. Included in recent tort reforms are limits on punitive damages, caps on non-economic damages, and the shortening on deadlines for filing medical malpractice claims. However, caps on non-economic damage were recently struck down.

Though significant changes have been made to tort law in Florida, in 2015 it was reported by the American Society for Healthcare Risk Management that Florida had the highest loss rate in the country for settling medical malpractice claims. Settling and defending these cases in the state cost 2.9x the national average.

Florida’s Damage Caps on Medical Malpractice Lawsuits

Though Florida statutes allowed a $500,000 cap on non-economic damages (which included compensation for “pain and suffering”) and a $1,000,000 cap on non-economic damages if the malpractice resulted in death or a vegetative state, these statutes were struck down as unconstitutional in 2017.

In Florida there is no limit on the amount of compensation a plaintiff can recover for past and future economic damages, such as medical care necessitated by the malpractice, lost income, lost future earning capacity, and any other measurable economic losses attributable to the defendant’s malpractice.

Statute of Limitations for Medical Malpractice Claims

The statute of limitations in Florida for medical malpractice claims are as follows:

  • Ordinary negligence carries a statute of limitation of two years from the date the harm from the malpractice was discovered or could reasonably have been discovered.

  • The statute of limitations might be extended to four years in cases where the injury wasn’t immediately discoverable.

  • For cases that involve intentional misrepresentation, concealment or fraud is, the statute of limitations is seven years.

  • For minors, the statute of limitations is different. When an action is being brought on behalf of a minor child, a medical malpractice claim may be filed up until the child’s eighth birthday.

Tail Insurance in Florida

If you are a physician practicing in Florida with a claims-made policy and you DON’T have Prior Acts insurance, tail insurance is the best way to make sure you’re protected when you’re changing jobs. Rates for tail insurance in Florida can be high. To make sure you get the best rate, contact an insurance broker before you notify your employer of your resignation.

When and why is tail insurance necessary?

Most malpractice insurance policies are written on a claims-made basis, which means the coverage is effective based on when the claim is made, not when the incident occurred. Therefore you need tail coverage when your employer stops paying your claims-made policy. Read more about tail malpractice insurance.

Medical Malpractice Insurance Outcomes in Florida for 2020

The total medical malpractice payout in Florida for 2020 was $215,768,100.

Closing Remarks

Given Florida’s older demographic, the state needs more primary care doctors. There is also a high demand for OB/GYNs, orthopedic surgeons and plastic surgeons. Though the tort laws in Florida are a bit repressive, compensation for physicians is higher than the national average. It is also a friendly state for private practice.

If you’re a physician working in Florida and looking for medical malpractice insurance, reach out to MEDPLI. We work with all specialties, whether you’re an anesthesiologist in Jacksonville, a surgeon in Miami, or a pediatrician in Orlando. We’ll help you obtain coverage from an A-rated carrier.