The Missouri Medical Malpractice Insurance Market
Due to the 2012 ruling finding the law that provided for caps on non-economic damages unconstitutional, the Missouri market may prove to be unstable in the near future. However, if the proposed revised statute that has passed the House (Missouri HB 1173) makes it through the Senate and avoids a veto by the governor a measure of stability may be regained.
Even given the tenuous status of tort reform however, there are some factors that serve to minimize the risk of malpractice litigation in Missouri. For one thing, Missouri law does not invite frivolous or wantonly filed malpractice lawsuits. To avoid having a suit dismissed claimants are required to submit an affidavit or certificate of merit within 90 days of filing a malpractice complaint and they are required to retain an expert witness. Additionally, the large number of insurance providers and diversity of the market has helped to keep rates low even during times of legislative and judicial uncertainty, as evidenced by a 6.63% premium drop from 2012-2013.