Understanding the Cost of Malpractice Insurance for Chiropractors
June 16, 2022
Reading time: 5 minutes
Chiropractic care is becoming an increasingly popular choice for U.S. patients. In fact, 1 million adjustments are made every day in this country! Since 2017, the chiropractic industry has grown nearly 13%.
As the field continues to expand, so does the need for reliable, fairly-priced chiropractic malpractice insurance. This important coverage is different than medical malpractice insurance, which doesn’t always fit the unique risks and needs of chiropractic professionals.
If you’re a new or soon-to-be graduating chiropractor, getting proper malpractice insurance is one of the best steps you can take for your career. Plus, if you’re a long-time practitioner, it’s always well worth it to revisit your current plan to ensure you’re fully covered.
Needless to say, the cost of malpractice insurance coverage can be a major expense throughout your career, costing thousands of dollars annually.
That’s why we put together this helpful guide to answer your questions about how much malpractice insurance costs for chiropractors. It will help you understand how chiropractic malpractice insurance pricing works, and how certain factors—like carrier choice, where you practice, and the makeup of your practice—can affect your cost.
We hope it will help you make a more informed decision when buying, or renewing, your chiropractic malpractice insurance.
Who Needs Chiropractic Malpractice Insurance?
While not all states require chiropractors to carry malpractice insurance, it’s highly recommended that every practitioner carry it. Malpractice insurance provides protection for your practice, assets, and reputation, as well as protecting your investment in a highly specialized education!
Unfortunately, being in a unique type of practice can make you vulnerable to certain types of lawsuits by patients. These chiropractic malpractice claims often fall into one of two categories: (1) failure to diagnose a medical condition that needs immediate care, and (2) harm to the patient from the treatment itself.
Chiropractors are not medical doctors, so it can be tricky if a patient comes directly to you without the evaluation or referral of a medical doctor. But since that is often the case, it makes protecting yourself with the right malpractice insurance that much more important.
Lawsuits by a chiropractic patient may not happen often, but they do occur. By getting the right chiropractic malpractice insurance, you can protect against lost wages and also protect your business.
How is the Price of Chiropractic Malpractice Insurance Determined?
To understand how much malpractice insurance costs for chiropractors, it’s important to understand the different factors that can impact what you pay.
In addition to industry claims trends, the cost of chiropractic malpractice insurance is typically driven by two sets of factors, which we’ll dive into below.
While we can’t speak for other insurance companies, these are the factors used to structure pricing at MedPro Group—the carrier behind ChiroPreferred:
1. Your professional factors:
- Experience — How long you’ve been in practice and whether you’ve had prior claims will impact pricing.
- Coverage — It’s worth noting that Occurrence and Claims-made policies have different pricing structures. [Learn more about these two coverage types here.]
- Location — Some states and counties experience more malpractice claims than others, driving up coverage costs.
2. Your malpractice insurance company’s factors:
- Claims — For every dollar of premium that comes in, the majority should be set aside to protect you in the event of a claim.
- Operating Costs — This is the money set aside by your insurance company to keep the lights on and take care of their employees.
- Profit — Just like you, setting aside some margin of profit is how an insurance company stays in business.
How is Chiropractic Malpractice Insurance Selected and Purchased?
Malpractice insurance specifically designed for chiropractors is the best option for this type of coverage. You can select and purchase your policy through an agent or broker, an insurance program, or directly from an insurance carrier.
One of the advantages of purchasing insurance through an agent or broker who works with several different carriers is that you can compare different rates and coverage options. Once the agent facilitates your policy purchase, the carrier provides the actual coverage.
Another great option is to buy your insurance directly from a trusted insurance program or carrier. This potentially gives you more power in the decision-making process and may help you better understand the coverage you’re buying. Ready to buy coverage? Start a free quote today.
Why Don’t All Malpractice Insurance Carriers Charge the Same Price?
Many factors go into a personalized quote for chiropractic malpractice insurance. While similar data is used to determine pricing, each insurance carrier has their own method for weighing each factor—a process called underwriting. In addition to reviewing your personal information and local regulations and claims trends, the company also considers their own unique risks and business philosophy.
Though it may feel like comparing apples and oranges when you try to review your options, it may help to keep these questions and answers in mind:
Q: Don’t all insurance carriers essentially offer the same chiropractic liability product?
A: The short answer is no. From claims defense strategies to coverage types offered, the top chiropractic malpractice insurance companies each have their own method of reviewing applications (underwriting) and determining pricing. This can explain some of the variation in pricing from two carriers who seem to be offering the ”same” product.
Pro Tip: Be sure to read the fine print on any policy you may be considering. Also ask about additional coverages to better understand the full scope of your policy and better understand what determined the bottom-line cost. Buy what will keep you well-covered and consider if ”extras” make sense for your needs.
Q: How can I get the lowest price possible on my chiropractic malpractice insurance?
A: As you work through how much malpractice insurance will cost you as a chiropractor, you may find yourself tempted to go for what seems like a good deal — especially if you’re new to the field.
Be careful about choosing insurance just because you’ve heard the carrier’s name often or the policy seems cheap. That attractive lower price may come with some serious setbacks. The carrier could lower your costs at first to get you to buy a policy, and then slowly raise your premium over the next few years. What’s more, they might not spend much money on your claims defense — which allows them to pass the ”savings” along to you.
Pro Tip: Buy solid coverage upfront. You’ve worked too hard to get where you are — don’t fall into the trap of going the discount route to save a few dollars. It may cost you thousands of dollars down the road if a claim is ever filed against you.
Now That You’re Informed, Get Protected.
Carrying chiropractic malpractice insurance is the only sure way to protect against a patient incident or injury lawsuit, and make sure you’re able to successfully protect your career, your reputation, and your practice.
Ultimately, you’ll want to strike a balance between finding the lowest price and getting the malpractice protection you need and deserve.
Get started on a quote. Or schedule a free insurance consultation.
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This document should not be construed as medical or legal advice and should not be construed as rules or establishing a standard of care. Because the facts applicable to your situation may vary, or the laws applicable in your jurisdiction may differ, please contact your attorney or other professional advisors if you have any questions related to your legal or medical obligations or rights, state or federal laws, contract interpretation, or other legal questions.
MedPro Group is the marketing name used to refer to the insurance operations of The Medical Protective Company, Princeton Insurance Company, PLICO, Inc. and MedPro RRG Risk Retention Group. All insurance products are underwritten and administered by these and other Berkshire Hathaway affiliates, including National Fire & Marine Insurance Company. Product availability is based upon business and/or regulatory approval and/or may differ among companies.
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