Missouri Medical Malpractice Insurance

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Requesting a free medical malpractice insurance quote today can save physicians up to 40% on premiums. From Cape Girardeau to Northern Missouri — From Saint Louis to Kansas City; eQuoteMD has multiple solutions available for doctors practicing in the “Show Me State”.

Summary of the Missouri Medical Malpractice Insurance Market

State of MissouriOver the past ten years the makeup of the medical malpractice insurance market for Missouri health care providers has changed substantially becoming more competitive than ever. The top five providers insure approximately 60% of the available medical liability insurance market, with the top 10 insuring approximately 85%. And while the makeup of the market has seen a fair bit of change the overall number of claims brought and payments made have been trending downward for some time. In 2005 1,512 new claims were reported, but by 2012 that number was down to 801.

One factor that has spurred development in the Missouri medical malpractice market has been the growth of mutual insurance companies organized under Chapter 383 of the Missouri Revised Statutes. These are also sometimes referred to as “383 companies.”

Under this statute these types of companies are allowed to form as non-stock mutual cooperative that are then allowed to assess policyholders in the event that losses exceed premiums. This risk distribution acts as a substitute for stricter capital and surplus requirements that regulate traditional insurance companies. Both mutual companies and stock companies have been able to offer lower premiums year upon year for about the last decade.

Missouri Tort Reform

On March 29, 2005 House Bill 393, a major tort reform overhaul, was signed into law. The following are a few of the significant provisions within the bill:

  1. Venue is limited to the place of first injury
  2. Punitive damages are limited to the lesser of $500,000 or five times the actual damages
  3. Benevolent gestures of sympathy are inadmissible as evidence of liability
  4. Non-Economic damages are limited to $350,000 or less

On July 31, 2012 the Supreme Court of Missouri ruled in a 4-3 decision that the cap on non-economic damages (i.e. pain and suffering) was unconstitutional, thus overturning that provision of the 2005 tort reform bill. This follows a trend across the country wherein these kinds of caps are not standing up to scrutiny by the courts. So far there has been little or no observed effect on premiums in Missouri, but, realistically, it will be several years before we know what the long-term market effects are likely to be.

Two bills have been introduced to reinstate the non-economic damages cap, using language that would satisfy the court’s objections. The first one, introduced in 2013, stalled in the Senate, while H.B. 1173 passed in the House in early 2014 and awaits action by the Senate. If voted on it is likely that it will fail in the Senate.

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