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South Carolina Medical Malpractice Insurance
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South Carolina Medical Malpractice Insurance

Free Quotes on Medical Liability Insurance for South Carolina physicians In general medical malpractice insurance premiums remained stable for South Carolina physicians in the past number of years.

The entry of a major new medical malpractice insurance company into the South Carolina market in 2008 means there is now more competition and more choices for doctors in the Palmetto State. Submit your quick and easy malpractice quote request today and see if there is a better rate available. It could end up saving you important money on your medical liability insurance.

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Benefits to South Carolina Doctors

  • "A" Rated Carriers. Compare rates to get the best coverage at the most affordable price.
  • Prior Acts Coverage is included. No need to purchase separate tail coverage.
  • Discounts Available - New to Practice Discounts, Claims Free Discounts.
  • Switch Anytime - you do not need to wait until your renewal date.
  • Top-Rated Advice and assistance for doctors with claims. Don't let prior claims or frivolous lawsuits prevent you from practicing medicine in South Carolina.
  • As the medical field continually evolves many physicians now have unique or very specific liability coverage requirements. Let a licensed insurance professional experienced in the South Carolina market work with you to tailor a liability policy to your individual needs.
  • Top-Rated advice and assistance for all South Carolina doctors across all specialties.
  • A free quote could save you important time and money today.

South Carolina Medical Malpractice Insurance Rates

Coming soon - the latest South Carolina medical malpractice insurance rates.

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Medical Malpractice Insurance in South Carolina

South Carolina Medical Malpractice Liability Insurance Joint Underwriting Association

The realization that malpractice insurance was not readily available to doctors led the South Carolina General Assembly in 1975 to establish the South Carolina Medical Malpractice Liability Insurance Joint Underwriting Association (SCJUA) and a year later establish a voluntary medical malpractice patient compensation fund (PCF).

The JUA and PCF are two separate entities. The South Carolina JUA is a non-profit (non governmental) primary underwriter of medical malpractice insurance. The JUA writes primary limits up to $200,000/$600,000 on both claims made and Occurrence forms. It is the largest provider of medical malpractice in South Carolina, and writes business through every licensed insurance agent in the state. The purpose of the SCJUA was and continues to be to provide medical malpractice coverage in excess of an eligible SC healthcare provider's basic insurance coverage.

The PCF is a state agency, formed after the JUA to provide excess coverage above the JUA’s $200/$600. The PCF writes limits up to $10,000,000/$12,000,000 on both a claims made and occurrence basis. The PCF will only pay claims above the primary limits up to the limits purchased. The PCF discontinued unlimited coverage effective May 1, 2009. The PCF may offer excess limits above other primary carriers in certain circumstances.

In its almost 30-year history prior to the modern tort reforms enacted in 2005, the PCF had been criticized as being ineffective against rising medical liability premiums. Listening to physician input, the state turned its eyes to reforming its medical liability system through legislative action, which included key civil justice components included venue reform, abolishing joint and several liability, statute of repose reform, sanctions to discourage frivolous lawsuits and limits on medical malpractice non-economic damages.

South Carolina Medical Liability Tort Reform

South Carolina's first effective foray into comprehensive medical liability tort reform was achieved in 2005, under the direction of Republican state leadership, who campaigned on a platform of reforming the state's "long-antiquated" economic systems.

Entering 2005, there was little argument that South Carolina was facing a healthcare crisis. Between 1999 and 2004, the medical malpractice premiums for the state's OB/Gyns had increased 379 percent, and doctors throughout South Carolina were forced to reevaluate their services in the face of skyrocketing liability costs. One South Carolina county had seen the number of obstetricians drop from 11 to two during the course of four years. Both government officials and public citizens were beginning to worry about access to care.

South Carolina's politicians hammered the point that—without significant tort change—the state would be left behind economically. They argued that passing tort reform was especially critical given the fact that neighboring Georgia and a dozen other regional states had upgraded their laws during the previous twenty months. The Governor's office used these facts to pass similar legislation, arguing that its neighbor would lure away South Carolina doctors due to the more favorable legal climate.

In April 2005, Senate Bill 83 (S83) was signed into law. S83 is a medical liability reform bill that limits non-economic damages in medical liability cases to $350,000 per provider, with an overall aggregate limit of $1.05 million. The new law also increased standards for top-rated witness testimony, provides clean-up language of the joint and several liability reforms passed in another bill, and contains a provision allowing for an offer of judgment.

The details of the reform bill are as follows:

  • In regard to non-economic damages, S83 set damage limits in medical liability cases to $350,000 per provider, with an overall aggregate limit of $1.05 million.
  • In an action against a medical professionals, S83 increased standards for admitting top-rated witness testimony by defining an top-rated witness as one who: (1) is qualified as to the acceptable standard of conduct of the professional whose conduct is at issue; (2) is licensed by an appropriate regulatory agency; (3) is board certified; and (4) has actual professional knowledge based on active practice for at least three to five years, has taught for at least half of his professional time for at least three to five years, or any combination thereof for at least three to five years.
  • S83 provides for sanctions against lawyers and parties who bring frivolous claims, including reporting lawyers to the Commission on Lawyers Conduct and required the Supreme Court to keep a public record of frivolous sanctions.
  • In regard to joint and several liability, S83 specifies that if there are multiple defendants in a civil action, joint and several liability does not apply to any defendant who is 50 percent or less responsible for the damages.
  • In an emergency situation, S83 provides that a physician is not liable for claims arising out of an emergency situation unless the physician was grossly negligent. Provides that a physician is not liable in a claim arising out of obstetrical care rendered in an emergency situation where there is no previous doctor/patient relationship or where the patient has not received prenatal care, unless the physician was grossly negligent.
  • S83 requires that prior to filing an action, the plaintiff must file a “Notice of Intent to File Suit,” and the parties must participate in a court-supervised mediation. If the matter is not resolved through mediation, the plaintiff may initiate the action within 60 days of the end of mediation or prior to the expiration of the statute of limitations, whichever is later.

While the medical malpractice reforms of 2005 have not produced a dramatic drop in liability insurance premiums, they did effectively stall their climb. From 2006 to the present, premiums have held steady, and in some cases, fell by a few percentage points.

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