Doctors and other healthcare workers in Texas face many obstacles, especially since Covid 19 took over the world in 2020. Texas governor banned Covid 19 vaccine requirements by any employer, which overtaxed the healthcare system as it struggled to care for those who fell victim to Covid 19. The good news is that medical malpractice insurance in Texas is reasonably priced and widely available.
- Medical malpractice laws in Texas
- What does medical malpractice insurance cover in Texas?
- What doesn’t medical malpractice insurance cover in Texas?
- Who are likely to need to medical malpractice insurance in Texas?
- How much does medical malpractice insurance cost in Texas?
- Claims made vs. occurrence medical malpractice insurance in Texas
- The 6 best medical malpractice insurance companies in Texas
Medical malpractice insurance laws in Texas
Texas does not require doctors, or any other healthcare worker, to carry malpractice insurance. However, if you work at a hospital or a medical center, they might require you to have medical malpractice insurance before they extend privileges to you.
In the 1990s, medical malpractice lawsuits in Texas were so common that many insurance companies gave up and stopped providing insurance to Texas doctors. By 2002, there were only four companies writing malpractice policies in Texas. Recognizing this as a problem, Texas passed Proposition 12, which limited non-economic damages to $250,000. This had the desired effect of attracting more providers to Texas.
In 2011, Texas also passed a law that passed on the costs of frivolous lawsuits to the loser of the suit. This helped to limit the filing of frivolous lawsuits, and the rates for insurance dropped as well.
Texas, like many states, has a two-year statute of limitations for filing a medical malpractice suit, with the two years starting when the harm was discovered.
What does medical malpractice insurance cover in Texas?
Medical malpractice insurance protects doctors and other healthcare workers from claims resulting from errors they made or something they failed to do that resulted in harm to a patient. The most common medical malpractice claims are:
- Delayed diagnosis
- Failure to treat
- Prescription errors
- Surgical errors (such as wrong-site surgery)
- Childbirth injuries
Keep in mind, you don’t actually have to have made a mistake to be sued—the patient just has to think that you made a mistake.
What doesn’t medical malpractice insurance cover in Texas?
Medical malpractice insurance does not protect you in every situation. Exclusions include:
- Intentional conduct
- Illegal acts
- Sexual misconduct
- Misrepresentation (claiming to be a doctor or a healthcare worker when you are not)
- Hospital administration mistakes
Who are likely to need to medical malpractice insurance in Texas?
All healthcare professionals are likely to need medical malpractice insurance coverage in Texas. Different specialties might require a bit different nuances and might have different best providers. Below are our recommendations of the best providers of medical malpractice insurance for different specialities:
- Doctors – The 5 Best Providers of Medical Malpractice Insurance
- Psychologists – Top 4 Providers of Malpractice Insurance for Psychologists and Counselors
- Nurses – The Best 4 Providers of Nursing Malpractice Insurance
- Nurse practitioners: The Best Malpractice Insurance for Nurse Practitioners
- Dentists – Top 5 Providers of Dental Malpractice Insurance
- Dental hygienists – The Best Malpractice Insurance for Dental Hygienists
- Physician’s assistants – The Best Malpractice Insurance for Physician’s Assistants
- Physical Therapists – The 6 Best Malpractice Insurance Providers for Physical Therapists
- Chiropractors – 4 Best Choices for Cheap Chiropractic Malpractice Insurance
- Pharmacists – The Best Malpractice Insurance for Pharmacists and Costs
How much does medical malpractice insurance cost in Texas?
Thanks to tort reform, Texas doctors and healthcare workers pay less for medical malpractice insurance than most of the country. Rates vary by specialty, depending on the risks involved. Rates range from about $7,000 a year for psychiatrists and non-surgical pathologists to about $29,000 for OB/GYNs. You can read the list here.
Be sure to shop around with a few companies or with an insurance broker to compare several quotes before making your final decision:
Claims made vs. occurrence medical malpractice insurance in Texas
Claims-made policies cover any incidents that happen while the policy is in force and are reported while the policy is in force. Occurrence-made policies cover any incident, regardless of when it’s reported.
For example, if Dr. Bob operates on Patient X’s wrist in 2015 and patient X experiences a slow recovery. He decided Dr. Bob made errors when he reconstructed the wrist and sues Dr. Bob, filing the lawsuit in 2018.
Dr. Bob had medical malpractice insurance in 2015, but switched to a different company in 2017. If Bob had claims-made insurance in 2015, his lawsuit filed by patient X would not be covered because he had a claims-made policy that ended in 2017. If Dr. Bob had an occurrence-based policy, he would be covered because he was covered during the incident in question.
You can also purchase tail coverage, which extends the reporting period on your insurance. Doctors who are retiring frequently purchase such policies, to extend their coverage in case anyone sues them for an incident that happened while they were still practicing.
The 7 best medical malpractice insurance companies in Texas
CoverWallet – best for comparing several quotes online
CoverWallet is a business insurance broker. They work with several leading insurance companies and are able to pull quotes from these companies for you to compare in one place conveniently. The quote form is relatively simple. Within 10 minutes, you will be able to compare several quotes. If your main goal is to obtain medical malpractice coverage at an affordable rate, you might want to start with CoverWallet.
Once you buy a policy through CoverWallet, you will be able to manage your policy 100% digitally using their dashboard with so many rich features.
The Doctors Company—best for doctors
The Doctors Company is the country’s largest physician-owned insurance company. Not only are they familiar with medical malpractice insurance for doctors, but their insurance also includes cyber liability protection and protection against Medicare/Medicaid lawsuits. They also include free tail coverage. Their financial strength is rated A by A.M. Best. They also have risk management resources that you can search for by specialty.
State Volunteer Mutual Insurance Company—Best for a range of policy limits
You can get up to a $12 million dollar coverage limit at SVMIC, although they have a wide range of policy limits, so you can choose one tailored to your needs. Other reasons to recommend them include their outstanding reputation, 40 years of experience, and in-house attorneys who can help doctors defend themselves against claims. They also have consultants you can use for free, to help optimize your practice.
NSO (Nurses Service Organization) – Best for Nurses
NSO is a company that exists specifically for nurses. They offer discounts to nurses in professional organizations, and rates are reasonable. Coverage is available for about $106 a year.
Student nurses can get a 50% discount. They are the largest provider of nurse’s medical malpractice insurance, and only insure nurses.
TMLT – Best for Comprehensive Coverage
Texas Medical Liability Trust isn’t an insurance company—as its name suggests, it’s a self-insured trust company that provides medical malpractice insurance to more doctors in Texas than the next five largest competitors combined. Their medical malpractice insurance can include cyber liability, medical director, supplemental coverage, employment practices liability insurance, moonlighting, and per-patient coverage. Also, their customer service reviews are excellent.
MedPro Group – Best for Healthcare workers
MedPro Group insures over 240,000 healthcare workers. They insure doctors, chiropractors, dentists, nurses, physicians assistants, dentists, oral surgeons—anyone who works in healthcare can find a policy with MedPro. And since they are backed by Berkshire Hathaway, they have excellent financial strength. They include free tail coverage for retiring doctors and free cyber liability insurance.
They offer discounts for almost every type of healthcare worker. They have professional membership discounts, a first-year discount, second-year discounts, and more. They also have a 90% trial win rate, so if you do get sued, you’ll know you have excellent legal defense.
Dentist’s Advantage – Best for dentists
Dentists can get sued for malpractice, too. Dentist’s Advantage offers dentists not only medical malpractice insurance but also commercial property insurance, general liability coverage, workers compensation and umbrella policies as well. They offer online quoting and professional discounts, too.
Malpractice insurance in Texas is less expensive than it is in most other states. However, since most doctors get sued at some time or another, you should protect yourself and your practice.