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Michigan Medical Malpractice Insurance
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Michigan Medical Malpractice Insurance

Michigan's largest physician insurer cut rates statewide by an average of 13 percent in recent years for its general practitioners and surgeons, while Ob/Gyns benefited from an almost 17 percent decrease, the first double-digit decline in those costs since 1993, when Michigan passed more-stringent reforms to limit malpractice lawsuits. The rate decreases are a clear indication that the state's tort reforms are working.

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These lower malpractice rates should help retain and attract more doctors to Michigan, at a time when the state anticipates a shortage of more than 6,000 physicians by 2020.

Discounts Available for Michigan Doctors

With a number of different medical malpractice carriers in MI offering A-Rated, quality liability coverage it's important for physicians and surgeons in the Great Lake State to obtain the best rate. Competition among carriers benefits you, the doctor.

Remember that you don't need to wait until your renewal date to switch. Submit our quick and easy quote request form and see if you can save money today! Multiple Discounts are available to Michigan doctors.

open medical malpractice insurance testimonial quote  I needed malpractice insurance right away for a physician we were hiring. I found on line and submitted my quote request. I obtained fast, friendly service from a liability consultant who was able to bind coverage in a day. In addition to the affordable rates, I was able to set up the payments on an installment plan. I would highly recommend to doctors looking for help with their medical malpractice insurance. close medical malpractice insurance testimonial quote
Teresa Procalla, President
Quality Care Physician Services
Waterford, Michigan    more testimonials

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Michigan Medical Malpractice Insurance

Michigan Tort Reform

In the early 1980s, Michigan legislators had become worried about the state's medical malpractice liability climate, which was beginning to limit its citizens' access to healthcare. Medical malpractice claims in the state had grown from 10 per 100 doctors in 1979 to 25 per 100 by 1985—an increase of 150 percent in just six years. From 1970 to 1984, the Detroit metro-area had seen its malpractice filings jump 1,100 percent.

Medical malpractice insurance costs had also doubled in the period 1980 to 1984, growing even faster for the riskier specialties. Michigan doctors took notice. Forty-two percent of Michigan family physicians reported that they had ceased delivering babies or reduced the number they delivered, and an even higher percentage of such doctors reported that they had cut back on surgery and treating patients likely to require intensive care. In response, the state's legislature passed statutes that addressed the following:

Venue Reform
The Michigan legislature found that plaintiffs’ lawyers were shopping their cases to forums they deemed “friendly,” even when their location had little relationship to the case. It therefore passed a law requiring cases to be filed in the county where the alleged injury occurred or where the defendant is located.

Joint-and-Several Liability
Lawmakers were concerned that plaintiffs' attorneys were suing parties with deep pockets but little connection to a plaintiff’s injury. As a consequence, defendants that juries determined to be as little as 5 percent at fault were being stuck with 100 percent of the damages. The new law reformed the doctrine of “joint-and-several liability,” as it applied to areas of tort law other than products liability, by limiting a defendant’s damage payouts to its share of responsibility; special protections of government bodies were also enacted to cover cases in which a plaintiff was judged to be partially at fault.

Top-Rated Testimony
For medical malpractice cases in particular, the 1986 law imposed more stringent standards on top-rated-witness testimony, which the state legislature concluded was being used to bring scientifically dubious cases.

Non-Economic Damage Caps
Because the legislature found that a large and increasing share of the payouts in medical malpractice suits went for non-economic damages such as “pain and suffering,” the new law capped them at $225,000 per case, though it provided for certain exceptions.

By 1993, the Michigan legislature had determined that the existing medical malpractice reforms needed to be strengthened, passing a new round of measures. These measures dealt with:

Evidence and Disclosure
In expanding the 1986 medical-malpractice reforms, the 1993 legislature revised top-rated-witness requirements and mandated that parties to a lawsuit give greater access to each other’s medical records.

Non-economic Damages
The 1993 reform package also extended the cap on non-economic damages to include all malpractice cases, though it raised the cap to $280,000 (or $500,000, depending on the category of defendant).

"Michigan's carefully designed tort reforms do not deny a truly injured patient from just compensation," said Sophie J. Womack, MD, a Detroit neonatalogist who serves as president of the Wayne County Medical Society of Southeast Michigan and as a member of the Michigan State Medical Society board of directors. "The reforms have helped reduce the 'lottery mentality' of each mal-occurrence, or bad outcome, from becoming a lawsuit."

Since the Michigan tort reforms went into effect in 1994, each component of the legislation has withstood constitutional challenges from the trial bar, which has slowly bolstered insurance industry confidence and resulted in this year's double-digit premium decrease. By contrast, tort reforms in neighboring Illinois were overturned in November of 2007, prompting the Illinois State Medical Society to issue a news release stating that the "verdict could derail health care access."

Previously, many Michigan physicians who practiced in high-risk specialties such as obstetrics, neurosurgery and orthopedic surgery often left for states where lawsuits were not as frequent and jury awards were not as high. Michigan is now a more favorable place to practice than many neighboring states, and the state's medical society anticipates an increase in applications to practice in the state as well as improved access to healthcare for its citizens.

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