Kentucky Medical Malpractice Insurance

Kentucky's professional liability insurance marketplace and legal climate is marked by overall stability. For the past few years, there have been no major instances of tort reform or legislative change. One reason may be because Kentucky Constitution Section 54 explicitly states: "The General Assembly shall have no power to limit the amount to be recovered for injuries resulting in death, or for injuries to person or property." While other states debate legislation regarding caps for non-economic damages or other damages, Kentucky has a Constitution that ensures these types of debates do not gain a foothold.

Kentucky also doesn't have a cap on attorney fees nor a patient compensation fund. In 2013, a coalition of medical and business interests did attempt to institute a medical review panel in hopes of limiting medical malpractice cases. However, the proposal did not move past the state House. Even if the measure was passed, it may not have had a significant effect on medical malpractice insurance premiums in Kentucky. Premiums in the state have stayed similar to the national rates for 15 years, with only some changes in the early 2000s and declining or static premiums since 2010. While the medical review panel may have reduced the number of claims litigated, it is not clear whether premiums would have been impacted.

Due to the tort reform and caps, Kentucky sees medical malpractice payouts higher than the national average. Both the severity of claims and the number of claims has been steadily increasing since the early 2000s.

Kentucky Claims Trends

The severity of claim payments tended to increase right alongside the national trend until 1999, when insurance companies saw claim payments below the national average. That continued until 2006, when Kentucky's claim payments jumped above the national average. In 2007, the gap widened, with Kentucky experiencing average indemnity amounts of $345,337 while the national average was $281,054. Since that time, Kentucky has remained closer to the national average.

kentucky vs USA average indemnity payments, by year

The total number of indemnity payments in Kentucky also increased in the early 2000s, peaking at 265 in 2002. Between 2000 and 2006, the state saw an increased number of claims before the number of indemnity payments returned to pre-2000 levels.

total number of indemnity payments by year in kentucky

In 2014, Kentucky had 17,645 physicians and saw 119 paid medical malpractice claims against the physicians in the state. This amounted to 0.67 paid claims per 100 physicians, which is relatively low compared to the national average (0.97 paid claims per 100 physicians) and the state with the highest claims (Louisiana, with 1.50 paid claims against 100 physicians).

In 2014, Kentucky had a state population of 4,413,457. That year, $46.15 million was paid for medical malpractice claims against all practitioners.

Between 2013 and 2014, Kentucky saw an increase in the number of larger indemnity payments. In 2013, the highest payment was $995,000, while in 2014 there were six payments of more than a million dollars — with the largest being $2.25 million.

kentucky medical malpractice quick facts

Why Partner With Gallagher in Kentucky?

At Arthur J. Gallagher, we are focused on helping healthcare professionals find Kentucky medical malpractice insurance to help protect their practice. Our goal is to protect your reputation and your balance sheet. We can explain the solutions available to you to help you find the right fit when it comes to Kentucky medical professional liability insurance. Contact Gallagher today to discuss your needs or to get a quote.

Kentucky Medical Malpractice Insurance Rates By Specialty (Top 15)

Rates depend greatly on specialty. Physicians offering high-risk care, such as surgeons, have higher rates than doctors in lower-risk areas. Prices will vary, though, based on your claim history and location in addition to your specialty. Always talk to an insurance expert to get a more specific quote for your malpractice insurance.

Below are undiscounted state filed rate data averages across all territories for $1m / $3m limits

SpecialtyAverage RateMin RateMax RateCount
Family Practice No Surgery$13,160$9,307$18,2001583
Internal Medicine No Surgery$14,438$9,772$20,1641325
Occupational Medicine$7,949$4,788$10,9441107
Pediatrics No Surgery$12,269$8,932$18,200696
Emergency Medicine$26,552$12,066$40,039673
Radiology - Diagnostic$17,432$10,703$22,749457
Obstetrics and Gynecology Major Surgery$68,773$57,080$90,998442
General Surgery$45,846$27,424$58,684407
Orthopedic Surgery No Spine$37,535$27,424$49,056299
Ophthalmology No Surgery$8,445$4,864$14,560254
Cardiovascular Disease Minor Surgery$22,880$17,369$29,796250
Pathology No Surgery$10,725$8,812$14,560207
Neurology No Surgery$17,830$12,378$22,749193
* Please note that the above rates are state filed rates. It is not uncommon for Gallagher Healthcare clients to receive up to 50% or more in discounts from state filed rates. Please Request a Quote to receive a custom premium indication.

Rate Range by Specialty

This chart compares the range of possible state filed medical malpractice premium rates by admitted markets and a few Gallagher Select markets broken out by the top 15 specialties in Kentucky.

Kentucky Medical Malpractice Rate Range Chart

USA Ranking Map

The map below provides a visual display of the nation and compares what a typical primary care physician might pay compared to each individual state and county. This research is based on the average rate for a single specialty, the most common limits in that state, and the mature claims made premium. The darker the blue, the higher the average premium, see how Kentucky compares to other states.

Malpractice Rate Heat Map - United States