Committees  |   October 2013
Medical Liability Insurance: The Calm Before the Storm?
Author Affiliations
  • Karen B. Domino, M.D., M.P.H.
    Committee on Professional Liability
    Chair
Article Information
Ethics / Medicolegal Issues / Pain Medicine / Committees
Committees   |   October 2013
Medical Liability Insurance: The Calm Before the Storm?
ASA Monitor 10 2013, Vol.77, 54-56.
ASA Monitor 10 2013, Vol.77, 54-56.
2013 has been a tranquil year on the professional liability insurance front! This summer the ASA Committee on Professional Liability conducted its annual survey of trends in medical liability insurance premiums. Twenty-five U.S. medical liability insurance companies participated in the 2013 survey, representing nearly 18,000 insured anesthesiologists. We obtained information concerning costs of premiums, policy limits, differences between general anesthesiologists and anesthesiologists specializing in chronic pain management and other trends in malpractice insurance.
Most anesthesiologists have policy limits of $1 million per occurrence and $3 million per year. In 2013, 72 percent of anesthesiologists had policy limits of $1 million/$3 million, 20 percent of anesthesiologists had higher limits, and 8 percent had lower policy limits. The optimal policy limits for an anesthesiologist varies with employer, hospital or state regulations; location and type of practice (e.g., higher policy limits for pediatric anesthesiologists); cost; liability insurance company recommendations; and personal consideration and asset protection.1  Policies with lower limits are generally purchased by physicians in states with supplemental excess coverage liability insurance, patient compensation funds or states with excessively high costs of liability insurance premiums.
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