Medical Malpractice Insurance Primer
In Colorado, there are four major carriers that dominate the medical malpractice insurance market, comprising over 90% of the available market. The biggest of the four carriers is COPIC, insuring around 50% of Colorado physicians. While these big carriers own the bulk of the Colorado medical malpractice insurance market, there are constantly new opportunities opening with smaller carriers. Careful evaluation and consultation with reputable resources that have access to these new carriers can open up doors to quotes, knowledge you need, and cost saving measures.
Colorado Medical Malpractice Basics
- 4 companies comprise over 90% of the market.
- The largest, COPIC insures about 50% of Colorado physicians.
- Average paid medical malpractice claim was $384k in 2010.
- Number of Physicians: approximately 13,000 as of Nov 2012
In 1998, Colorado General Assembly mandated that physicians licensed in the state of Colorado must maintain professional liability insurance at certain levels. That mandate was updated in 1990 and again in July of 2010. At this time, under HB10-1260, licensed physicians are required to carry malpractice insurance with no less than $1M per incident and $3M aggregate per policy period (1 yr.) limits.
- Limits awards for non-economic damages to $300,000.
- Total aggregate limit of $1M per case.
- Punitive damages cannot exceed actual damages except in the case of willful persistence in the offending action.
- Arbitration agreements are allowed between doctors and patients on a voluntary basis only.
Statute of Limitations
- Medical malpractice claims must be made within two years of the date of an incident, or within two years of the date of discovery of the incident, or when discovery reasonably should have been made during due diligence.
- Generally, a medical malpractice claim cannot be made more than three years after the incident that gave rise to the claim.
- Three exceptions are: the injury and reason for the injury were not made known to the claimant, something unnatural and potentially harmful was left inside the claimant’s body, or the malpractice was purposefully concealed from the claimant.
Summary of the Colorado Medical Malpractice Insurance Market
While the four big carriers noted above own the bulk of the Colorado medical malpractice insurance market, there are constantly new opportunities opening with smaller carriers. Careful evaluation and consultation with reputable resources that have access to these new carriers can open up doors to quotes, knowledge you need, and cost saving measures.
External Links & Resources for Colorado Physicians & Surgeons
- Colorado Medical Society (CMS)
- Colorado Hospital Association (CHA)
- Colorado MGMA
- Colorado Podiatric Medical Association
- Colorado Academy of Family Physicians (CAFP)
- Boulder County Medical Society (BCMS)
- Clear Creek Valley Medical Society (CCVMS)
- El Paso County Medical Society (EPCMS)
- Pueblo County Medical Society (PCMS)
Want to learn more about medical malpractice insurance policies in your state? Call our main office in St. Louis, Missouri, at (855) 823-5283 for all your questions about malpractice policies in Colorado. Get your free quote today!
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