OB/GYN Medical Malpractice Insurance

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Pregnant Patient being Examined By An OB/GYN With Medical Malpractice Insurance Coverage

Medical malpractice insurance is different for OB/GYNs.

OB/GYNs pay high malpractice insurance premiums due to the high-risk nature of birth and delivery. Having robust medical malpractice insurance from an A-rated carrier is the surest way to protect you from lawsuit damages, attorney fees, and more.

MEDPLI helps OB/GYNs save up to 28% on their insurance premiums. Contact us today to get a quote for your OB/GYN medical malpractice insurance.

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Why OB/GYNs Need Medical Malpractice Insurance

Although OB/GYNs are some of the most in-demand physicians by hospitals and most cherished by patients, their liability risk is high.

OB/GYNs tend to be sued for:

  • Maternal or fetal death

  • Failed tubal ligation

  • Timing and/or performance of a cesarean section

  • Bowel perforation

  • Shoulder dystocia

OB/GYNs are also at a higher chance of lawsuit due to their long tail exposure. Though most states have a 2-year statute of limitations on medical malpractice claims, most also allow the injured party to file from the “time of discovery”. The two years do not start until the injured party reaches eighteen-years-old, so technically, OB/GYN patients have up to twenty-one years to file a medical malpractice claim.

The right medical malpractice insurance will protect you from multiple factors in the event of a lawsuit. These are:

  • Monetary damages awarded to the plaintiff

  • Attorney’s fees

Though many (not all) states have no legal requirement for OB/GYNs to carry malpractice insurance, most hospitals require it if you want admitting privileges.

OB/GYNs and Malpractice Risk – A Deeper Look

OB/GYNs are more likely to be named in a malpractice case than the national average for all physicians, and the outcomes can be grave – including serious injury or death for the mother and/or infant. A deeper analysis of OB/GYN malpractice lawsuits reveals that:

Those involving obstetricians are most commonly related to:

  • maternal and/or fetal injuries or death

  • punctures/perforations

  • organ damage

Those involving gynecologists are most commonly related to:

  • surgical errors

  • punctures/perforations

  • missed cancer diagnoses

A deeper look into the allegations shows that:

Just over half of liability cases are related to the obstetrics process, including:

  • not properly assessing the expectant mother

  • failing to safely manage the pregnancy

  • overlooking early warning signs of possible complications in the labor and delivery process

  • missing postpartum symptoms that risk the health of mother and/or baby

A little under half of liability cases are from a surgery-related error, often linked to:

  • improper technique

  • poor communication among members of the surgical team

  • inadequate follow-up during the recovery process

  • not providing robust informed consent that manages the expectations of the patient

A smaller percentage of cases are linked to a diagnosis-related error, including:

  • missing the signs of cancer or another condition

  • not properly following up on abnormal test results

  • not communicating with other providers to develop and oversee an effective treatment plan

Medical Malpractice Insurance Challenges for OB/GYNs

  • Shortage of Providers

    The lack of OB/GYN physicians is becoming an increasing concern across the country. ACOG estimates that close to fifty percent of counties in the country don’t have an OB that is currently practicing. This shortage can make it hard for patients to find care and face long wait times for appointments, and leave the burden of caring for these patients on local, already overwhelmed, providers. With the pressure of having to provide for so many patients, mistakes are more likely to occur. As with many other areas of primary care and specialists, doctors will need to be incentivized to relocate to rural areas. For example, adding more programs that assist rural OB/GYNs in paying medical school tuition loans.

  • High Cost of Medical Malpractice Insurance

    Medical malpractice insurance premiums are a big cost for many OB/GYNs, sometimes even equating to a third of a doctor’s salary. OB/GYNs face some of the highest rates of malpractice cases, and the specialty is extremely high-risk. The expenses of practicing as an OB/GYN lead some physicians to leave the most risky part of the specialty – obstetrics. Approximately 30% of OB/GYNs stop practicing obstetrics within 12 years, with many deciding instead to provide gynecological care only.

    Across the board, insurance premiums are rising for medical professionals of all specialties, and the same can be predicted for OB/GYNs. In general, doctors’ medical malpractice insurance rates are on the rise as a result of increasing healthcare liability defense costs and larger indemnity payments.

  • High Stress Leading to Burnout

    OB/GYNs tend to lead high stress lifestyles with hectic schedules, and are frequently on call at all hours of the day and night. OB/GYNs are with families through some of their happiest times – and unfortunately, some of their darkest ones. The personal nature of this specialty can lead many OB/GYNs to neglect their own self-care in favor of their clients’, with little free time to spend with their families or on their own goals and interests, and adverse outcomes that can weigh heavily on the mind.

OB/GYN Medical Malpractice Insurance Rates

Rates for OB/GYN medical malpractice insurance vary widely by location. Mature claims-made estimates below are for informational purposes only. Occurrence coverage may be available. To get your personalized rate estimate, please request a quote.

City State Premium Estimate Limits of Liability
Birmingham AL $35,000 $1,000,000/$3,000,000
Little Rock AR $40,000 $1,000,000/$3,000,000
Phoenix AZ $55,000 $1,000,000/$3,000,000
Los Angeles CA $40,000 $1,000,000/$3,000,000
Denver CO $50,000 $1,000,000/$3,000,000
Bridgeport CT $65,000 $1,000,000/$4,000,000
Wilmington DE $70,000 $1,000,000/$3,000,000
Washington DC $110,000 $1,000,000/$3,000,000
Miami FL* $90,000 $1,000,000/$3,000,000
Miami FL* $70,000 $250,000/$750,000
Atlanta GA $60,000 $1,000,000/$3,000,000
Honolulu HI $50,000 $1,000,000/$3,000,000
Des Moines IA $30,000 $1,000,000/$3,000,000
Boise ID $25,000 $1,000,000/$3,000,000
Chicago IL $110,000 $1,000,000/$3,000,000
Wichita KS $25,000 + KS HCSF $200,000/$600,000
Louisville KY $65,000 $1,000,000/$3,000,000
Indianapolis IN $25,000 + IN PCF $250,000/$750,000
New Orleans LA $30,000 + LA PCF $100,000/$300,000
Boston MA $65,000 $1,000,000/$3,000,000
Baltimore MD $100,000 $1,000,000/$3,000,000
Portland ME $40,000 $1,000,000/$3,000,000
Detroit MI $85,000 $1,000,000/$3,000,000
St. Louis MO $65,000 $1,000,000/$3,000,000
Minneapolis MN $25,000 $1,000,000/$3,000,000
Jackson MS $75,000 $1,000,000/$3,000,000
Billings MT $70,000 $1,000,000/$3,000,000
Charlotte NC $50,000 $1,000,000/$3,000,000
Fargo ND $30,000 $1,000,000/$3,000,000
Omaha NE $20,000 $1,000,000/$3,000,000
Manchester NH $50,000 $1,000,000/$3,000,000
Albuquerque NM $40,000 + NM PCF $200,000/600,000 (Only Occurrence; no Claims-Made coverage)
Newark NJ $80,000 $1,000,000/$3,000,000
Las Vegas NV $70,000 $1,000,000/$3,000,000
Manhattan, NY NY $175,000 $1,300,000/$3,900,000
Columbus OH $70,000 $1,000,000/$3,000,000
Oklahoma City OK $55,000 $1,000,000/$3,000,000
Portland OR $35,000 $1,000,000/$3,000,000
Philadelphia PA $70,000 + MCARE $500,000/$1,500,000
Providence RI $50,000 $1,000,000/$3,000,000
Charleston SC $50,000 $1,000,000/$3,000,000
Sioux Falls SD $20,000 $1,000,000/$3,000,000
Nashville TN $45,000 $1,000,000/$3,000,000
Houston TX* $25,000 $200,000/$600,000
Houston TX* $40,000 $1,000,000/$3,000,000
Salt Lake City UT $50,000 $1,000,000/$3,000,000
Burlington VT $35,000 $1,000,000/$3,000,000
Seattle WA $45,000 $1,000,000/$3,000,000
Virginia Beach VA $60,000 $2,450,000/$7,350,000
Milwaukee WI $20,000 + PCF $1,000,000/$3,000,000
Charleston
WV $75,000 $1,000,000/$3,000,000
Cheyenne WY $70,000 $1,000,000/$3,000,000

*These states offer limit options

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