Ohio: Average Payout Per Medical Professional Liability Claim Is $252.5K

February 3, 2010

In its fourth annual Ohio Medical Professional Liability Closed Claim Report the Ohio Insurance Department shows a total of 3,080 medical professional liability claims were closed in 2008. The amount of compensation paid on behalf of each defendant to a claimant, averaged $252,522 per closed claim.

Data used for producing the report came from providers of medical professional liability insurance in Ohio.

Ohio law requires all entities that provide medical professional liability insurance in Ohio — including authorized insurers, surplus lines insurers, risk retention groups and self-insurers — to annually report closed claim data to the department. The specific data filed by each reporting entity is confidential and is not subject to public record requests.

The department is required to prepare an annual report summarizing the closed claims on a statewide basis.

Some key findings in the report include:

  • Total Closed Claims: A total of 3,080 closed claims were reported for 2008 by 93 entities. Authorized insurers reported the majority of the closed claims, 1,704. Self-insured entities reported 1,047 closed claims, surplus lines insurers reported 189 closed claims and risk retention groups reported 140 closed claims. For 2007, 3,451 closed claims were reported.
  • Indemnity Payments: Nearly 74 percent of medical malpractice closed claims resulted in no payment to a claimant. A total of 2,266 closed claims had no indemnity payments while 814, or 26 percent, closed with an indemnity payment. The total amount paid to claimants was $205,553,255, an average of $252,522 per closed claim for those claims that generated an indemnity payment. Based on the combined data of all four years, nearly 22 percent of the closed claims generated an indemnity payment at an average of $279,858.
  • Closed Claim Expenses: While most medical malpractice claims closed with no payments to claimants, almost all closed claims generated expenses for investigation and defense. These expenses totaled $112,678,455, an average of $42,249 per closed claim. Based on the combined data for all four years, the average expenses per closed claim were $30,608.

The full report and past year’s reports are available on the Department’s website at www.insurance.ohio.gov.

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