A Physician With A Malpractice Policy Standing In Front Of The Illinois State Flag

In Need of Medical Malpractice Insurance in Illinois?

Use the information in this 2024 Illinois 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.

Illinois Medical Professional Liability Insurance Market Summary

Physicians in Illinois 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 Illinois physicians.

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

  • ISMIE

  • The Doctor’s Company

  • MedPro

  • ProAssurance

  • NORCAL Group (A Part of ProAssurance)

  • Coverys Group

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 Illinois

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 $40,000 $80,000 $48,000
Cardiovascular Disease Minor Surgery $49,000 $88,000 $56,800
Emergency Medicine $64,000 $118,000 $74,800
Family Practice No Surgery $34,000 $58,000 $38,800
Gastroenterology No Surgery $40,000 $70,000 $46,000
General Surgery $84,000 $158,000 $98,800
Internal Medicine No Surgery $37,000 $64,000 $42,400
Neurology No Surgery $41,000 $72,000 $47,200
Obstetrics and Gynecology Major Surgery $120,000 $230,000 $142,000
Occupational Medicine $25,000 $40,000 $28,000
Ophthalmology No Surgery $27,000 $44,000 $30,400
Orthopedic Surgery No Spine $84,000 158,000 $98,800
Pediatrics No Surgery $31,000 $52,000 $35,200
Psychiatry $26,000 $42,000 $29,200
Radiology – Diagnostic $41,000 $72,000 $47,200

*Using the IL standard limits of $1,000,00 Each Claim / $3,00,000 Aggregate per year in coverage.  Rates vary by location, as well as individual practice profile information.

Physicians in higher-risk specialties may need more coverage. MEDPLI specializes in medical malpractice insurance and tail insurance coverage for Illinois physicians, so don’t hesitate to reach out for a personalized quote based on your unique needs.

Types of Professional Liability Insurance for Illinois Physicians

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

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 Illinois in 2023

Illinois does not have any legal mandate that practicing physicians carry medical malpractice insurance. However, most hospitals and physician’s offices in Illinois make it a requirement that doctors carry malpractice insurance if they want admitting privileges. Additionally, having malpractice insurance is the safest way to ensure you’re protected in case of a lawsuit, especially since Illinois has no cap on medical malpractice damages.

Standard limits for most doctors are $1,000,000 Each Claim/$3,000,000 Aggregate per year in liability coverage. Higher-risk specialties like surgeons and OB/GYNs will need more coverage.

Telemedicine in Illinois

In April 2020, Governor JB Pritzker expanded telehealth services in Illinois and launched the Remote Patient Monitoring Program and mental health support line specifically to treat COVID-19 patients. Since then, Illinois physicians’ use of telemedicine has continued to increase significantly as an accepted and effective way to expand access to patient care.

Physicians who want to provide telemedicine services to patients located in Illinois must be licensed by the state of Illinois and must provide the same level of care that they would provide for in-person visits.

The state of Illinois defines telemedicine as “the evaluation, diagnosis, or interpretation of electronically transmitted patient-specific data between a remote location and a licensed health care professional that generates interaction or treatment recommendations.”

Doctors who take care of patients via telehealth are subject to the same liabilities as with in-person treatment. It is recommended that doctors carry insurance that specifically covers telemedicine.

Tip: Most doctors will face a lawsuit during their careers – medical malpractice insurance from an A-rated carrier is the most cost-effective way to protect yourself.

Tort Reform in Illinois

There has been much back and forth on tort reform in the state of Illinois. In 2005, the state implemented damage caps on non-economic injuries of $500,000 for doctors and $1 million for hospitals. Non-economic damages included compensation for injuries like emotional distress, pain and suffering, and loss of companionship and consortium.

Later, the Illinois Supreme Court struck down the damage cap on non-economic injuries as unconstitutional.

Illinois’s Damage Caps on Medical Malpractice Lawsuits

Illinois currently has no limit on compensation for economic or non-economic injuries as a result of medical malpractice. However, Illinois does not allow rewards for punitive damages for medical malpractice lawsuits.

Statute of Limitations for Medical Malpractice Claims

Under Illinois law, a medical malpractice lawsuit must be filed:

  • Within two (2) years from the date the patient knew or should have known of the injury

  • Illinois’s laws regarding the state or repose prohibits patients from bringing a lawsuit more than four (4) years after the medically negligent act occurred

  • There is a special statute of limitations for patients who are minors at the time the medical malpractice occurred. Anyone under the age of 18 has up to eight (8) years to file a lawsuit, as long as the suit is filed before the patient turns 22

Medical Malpractice Insurance Outcomes in Illinois for 2022

The total medical malpractice payout in Illinois for 2022 was $148,628,000.

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

Closing Remarks

Illinois has benefits and disadvantages when it comes to practicing medicine in the state. WalletHub ranked Illinois as one of the bottom 10 states to practice medicine in the United States, largely because medical malpractice insurance rates are high.

Most specialist physicians practicing in Illinois earn more than the national average. However, keep in mind that Illinois does not have caps on the amount a plaintiff can collect in a medical malpractice lawsuit. That’s why Illinois physicians need strong medical malpractice insurance.

If you’re an OB/GYN working in Chicago, a doctor practicing internal medicine in Peoria, or a surgeon working in Naperville, reach out to MEDPLI. We’ll help you obtain coverage from an A-rated carrier no matter where you are located in Illinois.

MEDPLI offers tail insurance, group coverage, private practice malpractice coverage, and more. See our Products & Services page to find out how we can help you.