Surgeon Covered By Malpractice Insurance Standing In Front Of The Florida Flag With His Arms Crossed

In Need of Medical Malpractice Insurance in Florida?

Use the information in this 2024 Florida Medical Malpractice Insurance Buying Guide to get ready to discuss your coverage options with an insurance broker.

If you need a new insurance broker, the MEDPLI team can serve as your only trusted broker.

Florida Medical Professional Liability Insurance Market Summary

Physicians in Florida have many options for obtaining medical malpractice insurance, but we recommend carriers rated “A” by A.M. Best because of their long-term financial solvency and a history of providing robust financial and legal support for Florida physicians.

Some of the top-rated medical malpractice insurance companies serving Florida physicians include:

  • The Doctor’s Company

  • MedPro

  • MAG Mutual Insurance Company

  • ProAssurance Insurance Group

  • Norcal (A Part of ProAssurance)

  • Coverys

  • ISMIE

Tip: Save time and effort by getting quotes from multiple carriers through a single point of contact – an independent medical malpractice insurance broker like MEDPLI

Cost of Medical Malpractice Insurance In Florida

Carriers typically consider practice location, surgical specialty, and past claims history when setting rates. Each medical malpractice insurance policy is underwritten individually, but the following rates are estimates to give you an idea of costs by specialty.

Specialty Approximate Claims Made Rate Approximate Tail Rate Approximate Occurrence Rate
Anesthesiology $20,000 $40,000 $25,000
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

*Using the FL standard limits of $250,000 Each Claim / $750,000 Aggregate per year in coverage.

Rates for medical malpractice insurance in Florida are slightly higher than the national average and vary by location. Physicians in higher-risk specialties may need more coverage. MEDPLI specializes in medical malpractice insurance and tail insurance coverage for Florida physicians, so don’t hesitate to reach out for a personalized quote based on your unique needs.

Types of Professional Liability Insurance for Florida Physicians

Here is a brief overview of the most common types of medical malpractice insurance for physicians in Florida:

1. Claims Made Insurance

Claims-made malpractice insurance provides coverage if the policy is in effect both when the incident took place AND when the claim is filed. If a claim is filed after the end of the policy date, the claim is NOT covered. With a claims-made policy you need tail malpractice insurance, which is a separately purchased insurance policy or endorsement, to make sure you have full protection. Claims-made insurance policies “step up” as they mature, so the first year rate is lower than subsequent years.  Learn more about claims-made insurance.

2. Occurrence Insurance

Occurrence malpractice insurance provides coverage for incidents that occurred during the policy year, regardless of when a claim is reported to the carrier. Occurrence policies are more costly at the start of the policy, but the rate does not “step up”, and there is no need for tail coverage when the policy ends. Read more about occurrence insurance.

3. Tail Insurance

Since most malpractice insurance policies are underwritten on a claims-made basis, you will be exposed to a lawsuit if a former patient files a claim against you and you do not secure tail coverage.  When you are preparing to leave your employer, you should seek tail coverage options with an independent broker like MEDPLI.  Tail insurance covers you for a specific time period.  The new employer’s policy is not going to cover you for prior acts of a former practice, hence tail coverage is needed.  Read more about tail malpractice insurance.

Medical Malpractice Insurance Requirements for Florida in 2024

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.

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.

Tip: Deciding between carrying medical malpractice insurance or using secured assets to cover claims? MEDPLI’s recommendation is that obtaining medical malpractice insurance from an A-rated carrier is the most cost-effective way to protect yourself.

Telemedicine in Florida

The COVID-19 pandemic 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.

Reach out to a MEDPLI insurance broker to make sure your existing medical malpractice policy extends coverage to perform telehealth services in Florida.

Tort Reform in Florida

On Friday, March 24, 2023, Gov. Ron DeSantis signed into law HB 837: Civil Remedies. The tort reforms in this bill focus mainly on statutes of limitations, comparative negligence, and the admissibility of medical bills at trial.

The new law enacts a modified comparative negligence approach in medical malpractice lawsuits that prevents the plaintiff from recovering damages from the defendant if a jury finds that the plaintiff is more than 50% at fault for their own injury or harm. Also, the admissibility of medical bills at trial allows for admissible evidence to prove that the plaintiff’s damages more closely reflect actual amounts paid or allowed for medical services received.

Florida’s Damage Caps on Medical Malpractice Lawsuits

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.

Previously, 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, but these statutes were struck down as unconstitutional in 2017.

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.

Medical Malpractice Insurance Outcomes in Florida for 2022

The total medical malpractice payout in Florida for 2022 was $288,822,800.

To see historical payout data for Florida and other states, use our tool: Medical Malpractice Payouts by State.

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.

However, Florida is among the top three U.S. states with the most medical malpractice payouts on record, totaling nearly $10.6 billion over the last 20 years, according to the National Practitioner Data Bank. Obtaining strong medical malpractice insurance is still the best way to protect you and your practice in Florida from personal financial loss in the event of a lawsuit.

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.