Malpractice Insurance for Florida General Surgeons

Two Male Florida Orthopedic Surgeons Review Patient Records On A Tablet

General surgeons in Florida are at high risk of facing a medical malpractice lawsuit – practical malpractice solutions help protect their careers from harm.

Due to the high-risk nature of surgery and the litigiousness of Florida’s medical malpractice climate, general surgeons practicing in Florida are among the most likely physicians to experience a medical malpractice lawsuit.

If you are a general surgeon in Florida and you need medical liability insurance, contact MEDPLI. We help match surgeons with A-rated carriers that provide robust legal and financial protection for their policyholders, and we can save you up to 28% on your rates.

Why Florida General Surgeons need Medical Malpractice Insurance

According to the National Practioner’s Database, Florida is third in the nation when it comes to medical malpractice suit payouts – shelling out a whopping $215,768,100 in payouts in 2020 alone. When compared to its neighbors Georgia and Alabama, which paid out $103,596,500 and $22,347,000 respectively in 2020, Florida is a risky state to practice general surgery in.

In addition to the high number of medical malpractice suits per person and enormous payouts in Florida, the nature of the care that general surgeons provide is itself considered high-risk, and general surgeons are among the most frequently sued types of physicians. A 2021 malpractice report found that 83% of general surgeons have been named in a malpractice lawsuit, tied for first place with plastic surgeons.

For most doctors, the stress of experiencing a malpractice lawsuit is enormous, even if there’s no payment to the patient. If you are a general surgeon in Florida and you need medical liability insurance, contact an independent broker like MEDPLI. We help match surgeons with A-rated Florida carriers and policies that provide specific legal and financial protection for general surgeons, and we can save you up to 28% on your rates.

General Surgeon Medical Malpractice Insurance Requirements in Florida

General surgeons are not required by law to carry medical malpractice insurance in Florida. However, to maintain an active license, certain conditions must be met. Physicians who perform surgery in an ambulatory surgical center, 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.

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 your general surgery practice.

Common Limits of Liability for Florida General Surgeons

The general recommendation for all doctors, and specifically for high-risk specialties like general surgeons, is to carry coverage at $1,000,000.00 per claim/$3,000,000.00 aggregate. These limits offer robust protection for general surgeons and health care centers in Florida sometimes require these limits before allowing admitting privileges. (The average Florida doctor carries malpractice insurance that covers $250,000.00 per claim /$750,000.00 aggregate.)

General Surgeon Medical Malpractice Insurance Rates in Florida

There are multiple factors that can impact the cost of premiums for general surgeons in Florida, including location and claims history. If a doctor has had multiple claims filed against them, it will likely increase the cost of their insurance premium. The premium estimates below are for informational purposes only. To get your customized rate estimate, please request a quote.

City Premium Estimate
Miami $80,000
Hialeah $80,000
Jacksonville $45,000
Tampa $40,000
Orlando $40,000
St. Petersburg $40,000
Port St. Lucie $55,000
Tallahassee $40,000
Cape Coral $40,000
Ft. Lauderdale $75,000

How to Find the Best General Surgeon Medical Malpractice Insurance Providers and Policies in Florida

Some of the top malpractice insurance carrier options for Florida general surgeons include:

  • The Doctors Company

  • Medical Protective Group

  • Aspen American Insurance Company

  • ISMIE Group

  • Lone Star Alliance, RRG

  • ProAssurance/NORCAL Group

  • MagMutual

  • Coverys Group

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

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

Policy Features for General Surgeons to Look for in a Florida Insurance Partner

Florida has many top-rated medical malpractice insurance companies that offer good solutions for general surgeons. Since the landscape is fairly competitive, make sure you get the most from your general surgery medical malpractice insurance policy. Check to see that the insurance carrier you’re considering offers the following:

With an Incident Sensitive Claim Trigger, coverage is triggered when you report a circumstance that may give rise to a claim, instead of an actual suit or demand from a claimant. This gives you, the policyholder, a chance to report a claim sooner rather than later.

A Consent to Settle with No Hammer Clause means the insurance company will not settle any claim without your prior consent. A hammer clause could negate your say in the claim, and even leave you exposed to out of pocket indemnity costs.

Defense costs generally include attorney fees, court costs, expert witness testimony or reports, investigative costs and other legal defense expenses – be sure your policy provides you with defense costs “in addition” to the policy limits, as to not erode your policy limits.

Some carriers have physician loyalty programs in place to reward doctors with tail coverage at no cost upon death, disability, or retirement.

Choose interest free payments, automatic payments to help avoid a lapse in coverage, and monthly, quarterly, or pay-in-full options.

Tail Insurance for Florida General Surgeons

Most malpractice insurance policies are written on a claims-made basis, which means the coverage responds based on when the claim is made, not when the incident occurred. Therefore, general surgeons need tail coverage when they are changing jobs, or when they no longer maintain active coverage.

If you are a general surgeon practicing in Florida with a claims-made policy and you DON’T have Prior Acts insurance included on your next policy, 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 – often 200%-250% of your expiring premium. To make sure you get the best rate, contact an insurance broker before you notify your employer of your resignation. MEDPLI can help you get a tail estimate here.

Florida Statute of Limitations for General Surgery Medical Malpractice Claims

The statute of limitations in Florida for general surgery 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, 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. If a minor is age 8 or older, the regular statutes apply (they have 2-4 years to file, depending on the circumstances).

At MEDPLI, we are champions of private practice and love to help general surgeons succeed in launching, growing, and maintaining their private surgical practices in Florida. Navigating the insurance market can be difficult on your own. The best way to ensure you get a policy that suits your coverage needs at a competitive rate is to use the services of an independent broker who specializes in liability insurance for general surgeons. MEDPLI saves you the time of filling out multiple applications and provides you with fast quotes you can easily compare.


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