Illinois OB/GYN Guide to Medical Malpractice Insurance

Over 60% of Illinois’ medical malpractice premiums increased by 10% or more in 2022, according to an American Medical Association report. Practicing in a high-risk specialty, Illinois OB/GYNs are likely to be more affected by premium increases since they typically need coverage with higher liability limits.

Illinois is also among the top 10 most litigious U.S. states for medical malpractice. The National Practitioner Data Bank reports that more than 1,500 medical malpractice claims were filed in Illinois in 2022.

That’s why Illinois OB/GYNs need robust and affordable medical malpractice coverage.

As your only trusted broker, MEDPLI will help you find the right coverage at the best rate in Illinois.

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If you are an Illinois OB/GYN specialist in private practice, or planning to open a new practice in Illinois, use this guide prepared by independent MEDPLI insurance brokers to give you a concise overview of medical malpractice insurance. Then contact a MEDPLI insurance broker to discuss your coverage needs and get a quote.

Medical Malpractice Insurance Requirements for Illinois OB/GYNs

Illinois law does not require OB/GYNs to carry medical malpractice insurance to practice in the state. The standard limits of liability in Illinois are $1,000,000 Each Claim / $3,000,000 Aggregate per year in coverage. 

However, OB/GYN is considered a high-risk specialty, so you will need more coverage to be protected if sued for malpractice. 

MEDPLI strongly recommends securing coverage from an A-rated carrier as the most cost-effective way to protect against devastating financial loss if you are sued for malpractice in Illinois. As an independent broker, we specialize in medical malpractice insurance for OB/GYNs. We work for you to find the best policy at a great price.

Medical Malpractice Insurance Requirements For Illinois OBGYN

Cost of Medical Malpractice Insurance for Illinois OB/GYNs

Each insurance carrier uses its own proprietary methods of setting the cost of medical malpractice insurance. Carriers consider factors such as practice location, surgical specialty, and past claims history.

In Illinois, the areas that typically carry the highest rates are: Chicago (Cook County); Madison and St. Clair Counties (Metro East Illinois counties adjacent to the Greater St. Louis, MO, area).

The following are approximate medical malpractice insurance premium rates for OB/GYNs across all Illinois areas:

 Specialty Approximate Claims Made Rate Approximate Tail Rate Approximate Occurrence Rate
OB/GYN $50,000 $100,000 $65,000

*Using the IL standard limits of $1,000,000 Each Claim / $3,000,000 Aggregate per year in coverage

Types of Professional Liability Insurance for Illinois OB/GYNs

Here is an brief overview of the most common types of medical malpractice insurance for OB/GYNs 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.

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 generally stays the same for the length of the policy, and there is no need for tail coverage when the policy ends.

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.

Reach out to an experienced MEDPLI insurance broker who will get to work for you to find a tail policy at a great price.

Let a MEDPLI Broker Help You Choose the Best Policy for Your Practice

Every medical specialist’s situation is unique, so we recommend a conversation with a MEDPLI insurance broker to discuss the unique needs of your Illinois practice. Your MEDPLI insurance broker will explain the benefits and limitations of each type of medical malpractice insurance to ensure you get the right type and amount of coverage for your OB/GYN specialty at the best rate.

Get Quotes from A-rated Carriers Serving Illinois OB/GYNs

MEDPLI insurance brokers will obtain quotes from medical malpractice insurance from carriers rated “A” by A.M. Best for their long-term financial solvency and robust legal support of policyholders. Some of the top carriers include:

  • The Doctors Company


  • MedPro Group

  • ProAssurance

  • NORCAL Group (A Part of ProAssurance)

Why OB/GYNs Are Classified as High Risk by Medical Malpractice Insurance Companies

Medical malpractice insurance underwriters classify OB/GYN as a high-risk because of the potential severe birth injuries, gynecologic surgical errors and complications that commonly lead to allegations of malpractice. Therefore, the cost of medical malpractice insurance will be higher for OB/GYNs compared to other lower-risk specialties.

Top Reasons Why Illinois OB/GYNs Are Sued

Delay in treating fetal distress was the major allegation in the highest proportion of OB/GYN medical malpractice cases found in favor of the plaintiff, according to a review of claims data by “A” rated malpractice insurance carrier MedPro Group . Additional major allegations and contributing factors to claims included:

  • Improper management of pregnancy

  • Improper performance of vaginal delivery

  • Delay in delivery (induction/surgical)

  • Improper performance of operative delivery

  • Improperly managed labor

  • Improper choice of delivery method

  • Improper management of post-partum patient

In addition to untreated complications leading to maternal or infant death, some of the most often cited allegations in Illinois OB/GYN medical malpractice cases include:

  • Failure to detect and respond to fetal distress

  • Failure to diagnose ectopic pregnancy

  • Infant birth injuries, including brain or organ damage

  • Delayed or unsuccessful cesarean section surgery

  • Undiagnosed health issues leading to infertility or pregnancy complications

Top Malpractice Allegations Illinois OBGYNS

OB/GYNs can reduce their risk of a malpractice lawsuit by implementing a comprehensive risk management strategy. For tips on fine tuning your risk management strategy, check out our OB/GYN’s Guide To Managing Malpractice Risk.

Illinois Medical Malpractice Insurance Legislation

Consulting with a MEDPLI insurance broker who understands the complexities of Illinois’ medical malpractice laws will ensure that your OB/GYN practice is protected with the right amount of coverage.

Illinois Damage Caps on Medical Malpractice Lawsuits

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

Illinois Statute of Limitations for Medical Malpractice Claims

According to state law, conditions for filing a medical malpractice lawsuit in Illinois are:

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

  • Illinois law 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.

OB/GYN Medical Malpractice Outcomes in Illinois

With no cap on economic damages and non-economic damages, OB/GYNs in Illinois are more vulnerable to personal financial loss if sued.

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

The following examples of Illinois medical malpractice show the critical need for OB/GYNs to have strong liability coverage:

Jury Awards OB/GYN Patient $9 Million

The family of an Illinois woman brought suit against her obstetrician for wrongful death, alleging failure to properly treat placenta accrete, resulting in massive hemorrhaging, hemorrhagic shock, and multi-organ failure after cesarean section surgery.

$11 Million Settlement in OB/GYN Case

Failure to detect, monitor, and treat fetal distress led to a delay in a cesarean delivery, resulting in the infant suffering hypoxic-ischemic brain damage and permanent disabilities.

Even the Best OB/GYNs In Illinois Need Protection From Malpractice Lawsuits

Most OB/GYNs face at least one medical malpractice lawsuit brought forth by a patient throughout their career, so it’s essential to be covered when it happens to you. In addition to damages awarded to the plaintiff, having medical malpractice insurance assures that your legal costs will be covered regardless of whether the case is won or lost.

How MEDPLI Brokers Help OB/GYN Specialists Save time and Money on Medical Malpractice Insurance

Working with MEDPLI as your trusted broker takes the guesswork and effort out of trying to get the right coverage at the best rate on your own. We help you save time and money by:

  • Researching all of your best coverage, rate, and “A” rated carrier options that specifically meet the requirements of your OB/GYN specialty and practice location in Illinois.

  • Asking about any policy discounts offered for a new practice, medical association members, or physicians with no previous claims, for example. Some of our carrier partners offer discounts for risk management and provide CMEs.

  • Researching flexible payment options offered by carriers to best fit the budget for your practice.

  • Reviewing and consulting with you on all quotes, payment options, and possible discounts to help you make the best choice of coverage and rate for your needs.

MEDPLI insurance brokers are ready to help you navigate the complexities of Illinois’ medical malpractice laws and secure the right amount of malpractice coverage for your OB/GYN practice. From submitting your application, obtaining the best rates for new policies and renewals from “A” rated carriers, and more, MEDPLI is the only medical malpractice insurance broker you’ll ever need.