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Missouri Medical Malpractice Insurance

Malpractice rates stayed relatively stable again in 2008 with no increases from the main medical malpractice insurance companies in Missouri. The impact of the tort reforms enacted in 2005 have helped stablize rates making the state a more attractive environment for physicians to practice in. With over 15 different medical malpractice insurers currently operating in the Show Me State it's important to shop around and make sure you are not overpaying for your liability coverage.

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Highlights for Missouri Doctors

  • "A" Rated Malpractice Companies – compares 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.
  • Whether you prefer a mutual carrier or a stock company there are very competitive rates available to you. Compare all available options to get the best rate.
  • Switch Anytime - you do not need to wait until your renewal date.
  • Top-Rated Advice and assistance for doctors with claims or those who need access to non-standard markets. In todays litigious environment do not let prior claims or frivolous lawsuits prevent you from practicing medicine in Missouri.
  • Many doctors now have unique or very specific malpractice coverage requirements. Let a licensed, experienced Missouri based insurance professional work with you to tailor a policy to your individual liability needs.
  • A free quote could save you money today.

Medical Malpractice Insurance in Missouri

In late 2002, medical liability tort reform became a legislative hot topic in Missouri as an increasing number of physicians began moving their practices across state lines to nearby Kansas, citing the state’s cost of doing business and, specifically, rising medical malpractice insurance premiums for the exodus.

When questioned, the insurance companies pointed to the court decision in Scott v. SSM Healthcare St. Louis — a January 2002 decision that ruled courts can award multiple caps in each medical malpractice case for non-economic damages, rather than the established single cap of $557,000 per injury that increases to reflect inflation. For the previous 15 years, Missouri courts operated under that single cap rule.

Bolstered by a strong trial-lawyer lobby, the Scott v. SSM decision mandated that the limit could be applied to each defendant, virtually eliminating any cap on medical malpractice lawsuits. Missouri insurers claimed that they were forced to more than double their reserves for future payments to 2002’s malpractice victims, even though the number of claims actually fell that year.

In the wake of Scott v. SSM, Missouri medical malpractice insurers reported a loss ratio of 108 percent. In other words, the companies expected to pay out $1.08 cents in benefits to 2002 claim victims for every dollar of premium collected, up from 79 cents in 2001. For doctors, specifically, the figure reached $1.18 in expected payouts for every premium dollar in 2002. The loss ratio for physicians almost doubled from 61 cents the year before. As a result, medical malpractice insurers raised premiums as much as 50 percent in 2003 and as much as 107 percent in 2004.

The Missouri Legislature attempted to address the growing malpractice insurance crisis with bills that addressed tort reform, but in both the 2003 and 2004 sessions, then-Gov. Bob Holden vetoed the legislations because they also offered special tort protections to business other than the medical field. The governor said that he was only interested in signing legislation that deals with “medical malpractice and medical malpractice alone.” The legislature refused to rewrite the bills, and could not come up with the two-thirds majority required to overrule the veto.

After the election of Governor Matt Blunt in 2004, the Missouri Legislature again revisited the medical malpractice crisis with House Bill 393 (HB 393), which was signed into law on March 29, 2005. This bill modified 19 sections of the Revised Statutes of Missouri (RSMo) relating to tort damages in Missouri, with its greatest impact in the area of medical malpractice tort actions. The greatest changes HB 393 instituted into Missouri medical liability tort law include:

Venue Reform
HB 393 limited the practice of moving litigation to unrelated, plaintiff-friendly venues in an effort to secure unfair verdicts by requiring cases to be filed in the county where the alleged injury occurred.

Joint & Several Liability
HB 393 eliminated a provision in Missouri law that had allowed defendants who are as little as 1 percent liable for an injury to be held liable for the entire judgment, also known as joint-and-several liability.

Non-Economic Damage Cap
HB 393 capped punitive damages at $250,000—or three times the amount of the actual damages awarded—whichever is greater. The bill also caps damages for pain and suffering at $250,000 for medical malpractice, with no inflationary allowance.

The results of HB 393 on medical malpractice insurance premiums have been cautiously considered successful, as rates have remained flat since 2006.

The Missouri Legislature and Gov. Blunt followed HB 393 in 2006 with the signing of House Bill 1837 (HB 1837), which allowed insurers to charge an additional premium surcharge or discount based on the health care provider's loss experience, training and other factors; specifies that no insurer can increase malpractice insurance rates by more than 25 percent or refuse to renew a policy without at least 60 days prior written notification; and created the Health Care Stabilization Fund Feasibility Board within the Department of Insurance to analyze medical malpractice data to determine whether a healthcare stabilization fund to provide excess liability coverage for healthcare providers should be established in Missouri.

On Jan. 24, 2008, the Health Care Stabilization Fund Feasibility Board submitted a preliminary review that it could not make an informed decision about the need for a healthcare stabilization fund without additional data. The Board will again report to the state in 2010 when it hopes to be able to make a recommendation on whether a stabilization fund is necessary.

Latest Medical Malpractice Insurance News in Missouri

July 2011

Missouri may be known as the “Show Me” state but Senator Rob Schaaf (R) didn’t show his hand when it came to some legislation before the Missouri Senate (Senate Bill 302). Amid growing concern in many circles about the future health of medical malpractice insurance in Missouri, fellow Republican Kevin Engler had introduced SB 302 to help bolster the financial regulations governing medical malpractice insurance companies in Missouri.

The bill died in a committee headed by Schaaf and never saw the light of day. The cause for concern is the perceived conflict of interest for Schaaf in that he also co-owns a medical malpractice insurance company that is sixth-largest insurer of physicians and surgeons in Missouri.

Read our blog for more on this medical malpractice insurance reform bill and Sen. Schaaf's role

CoverMD – A New and Innovative Way to Find Malpractice Insurance has put in place a network of dedicated insurance professionals nationwide who represent multiple medical malpractice insurance companies with highly competitive rates.

The affordable rates combined with the experience and knowledge of these professionals is key to why has become the nation's leading website for doctors seeking quality, affordable medical malpractice insurance.

Get Free No-Obligation quotes and Top-Rated Advice from experienced medical liability consultants serving Missouri who can assist you with all your medical malpractice insurance needs.

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