Skip to main content


The Rapid Growth of APPs and Burgeoning Risk for MPL

Wednesday, March 6, 2024, 11:00 a.m. ET
Join the MPL Association for an in-depth discussion on the proliferation of APPs and the impact of this trend on the future of MPL claims, defense, and loss mitigation. This webinar is FREE for MPL Association members and affiliate partners.

Federal Administrative Actions Impact MPL

While medical liability-related legislative activity has shifted heavily from the federal environment to the states, the same cannot be said for all regulatory activity. Thanks to the McCarran-Ferguson Act, states remain the dominant focus of regulatory matters affecting medical liability insurance.

The State of the MPL Market: Claim Severity Rises, Policy Price Increases Moderate

Every six months, the MPL Association’s Research and Analytics Department issues a report analyzing these metrics with valuable take-aways that offer industry stakeholders insights into the industry’s financial performance.  

The MPL Association Data Sharing Project (DSP) has compiled more than 32,000 closed claims and lawsuits involving all healthcare specialties between 2017 and 2021. The graphs below provide a closer look between these specialties by average indemnity, percentage of claims closed with payment, and average defense costs.


Among the various healthcare specialties, radiation therapy, neurosurgery, and pediatrics stand out for their high average indemnity payments, each exceeding half a million dollars. Of note, radiation therapy not only had the fewest number of paid claims (10), but also the lowest percentage of claims resulting in an indemnity payment (19%), when compared to all healthcare specialties. The overall average indemnity payment across all healthcare specialties was $356,472. Within the primary care specialties, family medicine reported an average indemnity payment of $328,416, falling below the average, while pediatrics and internal medicine exceeded it with payments of $541,601 and $419,818, respectively.



The graph above shows the top 10 healthcare specialties with the highest percentage of claims closed with payment (CWP). On average, 27.5% of claims across all healthcare specialties result in an indemnity payment. The three specialties with the highest CWP ratios are orthopedic surgery (34.3%), family medicine (33.9%), and ob/gyn surgery (33.8%), though both orthopedic surgery and family medicine reported indemnity payments below the average of all healthcare specialties. Despite dentistry having a high percentage of claims resulting in payment (31.6%), the average indemnity payment for this specialty is less than average, at $111,231. Specialties that appear in both the top ten for average indemnity payments and for highest percentage of closed claims with payment include ob/gyn surgery, neurology, radiology, and pathology.



Defending a medical professional liability claim costs an average of $47,914. A review of the top ten healthcare specialties with the highest average defense costs shows that even the specialty with the lowest average defense expenditure among them—general surgery at $53,315—exceeds the average by 11%. Neurology and psychiatry are the most expensive specialties to defend, with average costs of $67,631 and $67,144, respectively. Ob/gyn surgery and neurology are the only two specialties to feature in the top ten for highest average defense costs, average indemnity payments, and percentage of claims closed with payment.



Contact for more information:
Kwon Miller, Analytics Manager