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Ohio Medical Malpractice Insurance

In general medical malpractice insurance premiums have decreased or remained stable for Ohio physicians in recent years.

Encouragingly, Ohio doctors have seen further rate reductions in recent years following the decision of the Ohio Supreme Court in early 2008 to reject legal challenges to tort reforms measures, namely, Senate Bill 80.

With the continuing rate decreases in the Buckeye State it's important to ensure you are not overpaying for your Ohio medical liability insurance. Submit your quick and easy quote request today and see if there is a better rate available. It could end up saving you important money on your medical malpractice insurance.

New Medical Malpractice Insurance company in AZ Major Carrier in Ohio Reduces Rates by almost 10%

In June 2011 a leading medical liability insurance carrier doing business in Ohio announced an average decrease of 9.9% in their rates for Ohio physicians. Don't delay! See if you can save money on your liability insurance today.

Ohio Physicians
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Benefits to Ohio 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.
  • New to Practice Discounts. Years in Practice 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 Ohio.
  • 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 Ohio market work with you to tailor a liability policy to your individual needs.
  • A free quote could save you money today.

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Ohio Medical Malpractice Insurance – The Background

The state of Ohio began its more than 30 year battle against escalating medical liability insurance premiums in the mid-1970s, when many carriers suddenly stopped writing malpractice insurance for its surgeons and obstetricians.

The Ohio Legislature first tackled tort reform in 1975 with a law capping non-economic, pain-and-suffering damages in medical malpractice cases. However, the Ohio Supreme Court, in a 5-1 decision, overturned the law as unconstitutional, finding the caps violated the Ohio due process clause.

In 1985, former Ohio House Speaker Vern Riffe began hearings on comprehensive tort and insurance reform legislation. He pushed the legislation through the General Assembly, but was vetoed by then-Governor Dick Celeste. Riffe had the legislation reintroduced in 1987 as HB1, and a politically pressured Gov. Celeste signed the bill, which significantly rewrote tort law in the Buckeye State. The Ohio Supreme Court, once again, reversed the law on constitutional grounds.

In 1997, the Ohio General Assembly passed a more comprehensive tort reform bill, which was again overturned by the State Supreme Court. The Court sharply criticized the General Assembly for passing a bill that included numerical caps after the Supreme Court had already declared them to be unconstitutional.

Senate Bill 80 (SB 80)

Undeterred by these judicial reversals, in December of 2004, the Ohio Legislature passed its most recent tort reform, Senate Bill 80 (SB 80), another comprehensive set of laws that this time filled certain gaps left by previous tort reform legislation. This bill included several provisions specifically applicable to medical malpractice cases, including caps on punitive damages, expanded post-verdict review of compensatory damage awards, expanded definitions and penalties for frivolous conduct and changes in jury instructions regarding taxability of damages. Of specific importance to SB 80, the trial judge must now review evidence supporting an award of non-economic compensatory damages if a defendant challenges the award as excessive. In reviewing the award, the judge is to consider various factors, including whether improper “punitive” arguments were made, such as arguments asking the jury to consider the defendant’s wealth.

Departing from its prior decisions, in 2008, the Ohio Supreme Court rejected the legal challenges to SB 80. The court noted, its prior review had “focused on certain unconstitutional facets of the prior tort-reform laws . . .” that it said could be “addressed to create constitutionally valid legislation.” The court then stated that the provisions at issue were “more than a rehashing” of statutes previously declared unconstitutional—that the legislature had “made progress in tailoring its legislation to address the constitutional defects identified” in prior decisions. The court justified the bill as joining “Ohio firmly with the growing number of states that have found [tort] reforms to be constitutional.” The court cited cases from 19 other states that had upheld particular limitations on the awards of non-economic damages. It also cited decisions from 10 other states upholding limitations on awards of punitive damages. The clear trend seems to be for state courts to uphold such limitations.

Ohio’s more than 30 year quest for tort reform, and the subsequent State Supreme Court eventual endorsement of SB 80, stands as evidence that, when persistent, tort reforms can be upheld even when earlier efforts have been ruled unconstitutional. The majority in 2008’s State Supreme Court stated that “[t]he fact that the General Assembly has repeatedly sought to reform some aspects of the civil tort system for over 30 years demonstrates the continuing prominence of this issue.”

The Ohio State Medical Association points to its Department of Insurance’s finding that there was a 21 percent decline in the number of medical liability claims from 2005 to 2006 as evidence SB 80 is an effective tort reform measure. Having withstood legal challenge in early 2008, the association is hopeful that its physicians should see shrinking professional liability premiums in the near future.

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