Author: Christopher M. Burkle, M.D., J.D.
ASA Monitor 11 2017, Vol.81, 48-49.
Each year, the ASA Committee on Professional Liability provides a report on changing trends in malpractice insurance premiums and characteristics impacting physician anesthesiologists. The Anesthesia Closed Claims Project conducted a survey of malpractice insurers in May-July 2017 on behalf of the committee. Twenty-seven medical liability insurance companies providing coverage to more than 19,600 anesthesiologists practicing in the U.S. responded to the query.
Consistent with the committee’s more recent reports, insurance companies conveyed that in 2017 most anesthesiologists carried policy limits of $1 million per occurrence and $3 million per year.1 In 2017, 78 percent of companies reported that their most common policy had limits of $1 million/$3 million, 19 percent reported that their most common policies had higher limits and 4 percent (n=1 company) had lower policy limits ($100,000/$300,000). Seventy-four percent of companies offered claims-made policies either exclusively or for the vast majority of their policyholders, while 22 percent mostly or exclusively wrote occurrence policies, and only one company wrote claims-paid policies. While claims-made policies remained most common, the committee had seen a slow trend toward increasing occurrence policy options offered by insurers over the past three annual reporting periods. However, this upward trend in occurrence policy offerings stabilized this year.