Medical malpractice insurance protects you against lawsuits associated with treating patients by covering legal expenses and settlement costs. Because several factors determine if a physician will be sued, several factors determine how much this type of insurance costs.
Typically, premiums are set based on your practice location and your specialty. Your premium is also affected by the procedures you perform; the limits of liability you request; how long you’ve been in practice; and your claims experience.
Of these rating factors, the factor that physicians have the most control over is limits of liability. The amount of insurance you carry — your limits — helps determine how much you pay.
About limits of liability
Limits spell out the maximum amount your policy will pay. With malpractice coverage, there are two limits. The first limit states the maximum paid per claim, while the second limit states the maximum paid during the policy period. Medical malpractice limits can range from $100,000/$300,000 to $1 million/$3 million.
In general, insurance carriers cannot tell you what limits to carry. But you can speak with colleagues who practice in your specialty and location to see what limits of liability they carry. Your personal financial advisor or insurance agent can also recommend limits.
How to lower your insurance premiums
Malpractice insurance carriers often offer premium discounts for favorable claims history, participation in education and risk management programs, and length of time you are insured with the carrier.
TMLT discounts include up to 6 percent per policy term for completion of CME programs; 5 percent per policy term for a risk management practice review; and experience discounts ranging from 2 to 20 percent based on your claims history.
Dividends and loyalty programs
Take advantage of dividends and loyalty programs if your carrier offers them. Dividends are often rewarded based on the financial performance of the company. Loyalty programs offer incentives for staying with the carrier. These financial rewards can add up over the life of your policy.
TMLT’s dividends are based on expiring premium and are applied to the renewal premium the year after they are declared. The dividend amount for 2022 is 10 percent.
TMLT also offers Trust Rewards, a financial reward program. Funds are set aside annually for eligible policyholders in their Trust Rewards accounts. The funds accumulate and are distributed at the time of a qualifying event (such as retirement).