Anybody buy their own private insurance? - page 2

I'm hearing that there are some per diem nurses who buy their own insurance and Im just wondering if anyone has experience witht that for a family. Thanks.... Read More

  1. by   Sheri257
    Quote from maryshome8
    Keep in mind that there are pros and cons to not carrying your own insurance in case you get sued for negligence or malpractice. You may be less likely to get sued, however, if you DO get sued, you'll be paying out of your own pocket for a defense and you can get PERSONALLY sued, which meanns you can lose your home, everything, plus get your waged garnished for the rest of your life.

    Most states have laws that if you carry a professional license and carry the appropriate insurance to go with it, that you cannot be personally sued.

    To me, I would never risk this. Your entire career is a long time and you should never assume that a hospital will protect you.
    I've never understood this argument that you're less likely to be sued if you don't have insurance. From what I've seen from lawyers, they always sue everybody ... then ask questions later.

    :typing
  2. by   Sheri257
    Quote from ckben
    1) why does that nurse feel like he/she needs liability insurance? do they routinely put their patients at risk, thus prompting their need for extra insurance? (this is from a lawyer's point of view - i don't know any nurse who feels this way!)
    2) you sue the people who can give you the money, and those with extra liability insurance can provide just that.

    i was just wondering if anyone had heard this before and if they knew it to be true or untrue.
    Well ... for me ... the issue isn't that I put my put my patients at risk. It's that I have equity in my house to protect. I've been to court four times (for non-medical cases).

    It doesn't happen often but ... you can get some idiot judge that doesn't know anything but rules against you and, if you don't prevail on appeal, they can slap a lien on your house.

    Besides, I don't want to have to pay the lawyer's fees, which you'd have to pay even when you're totally in the right and win.

    :typing
    Last edit by Sheri257 on Sep 30, '06
  3. by   barbshortt
    Done a lot of research on the liability insurance issue, and took a poll where I work and only 5% of the RN's had medical mal insurance. i arranges for a malpractice attorney to speak at our monthly nursing meeting,and she pointed out a couple of interesting facts:
    (1) Lawyers do not know who has malpractice insurance and who does not. In New Mexico, they are prohibited from finding out by way of their investigation.
    (2) Although you may be covered by your hospital for liability issues, and they may cover you in an initial suit, when that suit is settled, they often turn around and sue the nurse, doctor, pharmacist on behalf of the hospital! They are out to recover costs from a settlement, and if they settle a case, may turn to the staff member involved in a suit.
    Of course this makes sense.....the hospital lawyers seek a way to recover their costs..
    In my mind, the $80/year I pay for malpractice insurance is more than worht the price.
  4. by   Sheri257
    Quote from barbshortt
    Lawyers do not know who has malpractice insurance and who does not.
    That's what I figured ... afterall, how would they know?

    :typing
  5. by   Nurseterr7
    I am a private contractor and work for nursing registry's and I have to have malpractice insurance or they do not give me any work. I have NSO and it cost me about $112.00 a yr. Chump change for the protection. I live in the land of litigation (Dade county Fl.) and can not imagine how a lawyer would know if you had insurance or not but with the amount of information floating around out there I guess there could be a way to get a great deal of personal information on someone if they wanted to. My big out of pocket expense is Health insurance. Single female, south Florida over 50. BCBS HMO. $421.00 a month. I could pay less if I had the PPO but then I'd have a $1,000 deductible. I figured it out and it really amounts to about the same. I know that in other areas of Fla it is much less. Other states ? I have no idea. If you have a family that you want under the same policy then I think out of pocket cost would be really high. For me as a single person I like paying for my own because I am not beholding to a job because of insurance.
  6. by   caroladybelle
    Quote from ckben
    here's a question -

    my mom is an rn and works in the nursery. she once said that it was a bad idea for nurses, especially in the areas of mother-baby care, to carry their own liability insurance because often the nurses who were named in the lawsuits were the ones who had the insurance. i've heard similar things since then, and it seems that other people believe this to be true for two reasons:
    1) why does that nurse feel like he/she needs liability insurance? do they routinely put their patients at risk, thus prompting their need for extra insurance? (this is from a lawyer's point of view - i don't know any nurse who feels this way!)
    2) you sue the people who can give you the money, and those with extra liability insurance can provide just that.

    i was just wondering if anyone had heard this before and if they knew it to be true or untrue.
    First, in the vast majority of cases, their is no way for the complaintent to know that you have personal liability insurance.

    Second, most hospitals carry some liability insurance on their nurses. However, as the hospital is footing the bill, the priority is protecting the hospital's interest, not the nurse. I want someone looking out for MY interests.

    Third, why would anyone presume that you carry insurance to put patients at risk. Do you carry auto insurance so that you can carelessly wreck your car? Do MDs carry insurance so that they can deliberately harm patients? Do hospitals carry insurance so that they came harm patients with impunity.

    Fourth, when a medical error occurs, the lawyers are going to start by naming every single person named in the medical record even remotely associated with the case....whether they were involved or at fault or not. They can frequently be annoying to the point of abusive in dealing with a nurse, even if that nurse is later ruled out as a party to the lawsuit. Having your own representation can help stem this abuse. A personal example:

    I had been a nurse for all of 3 monthes. I worked on a surgical floor. A surgeon made a error in his care of a patient - both during surgery and in the postop period. The nursing staff clearly documented data that indicated that there were problems and documented calls to the surgeon. As the problems progressed the patient was transferred from department to the another as the patient developed complications and pain issues. The patient later died.

    I had at no time cared for the patient in the first department, but did care for the patient in the second department, thus was a witness to the patient's distress. 18 monthes later, I move 500 miles a way. And shortly thereafter, the family sued the MD and facility. While there were attempts to settle out of court, I kept getting subpeonaed. I come back to be depositioned, whereupon, finding out that my info is not needed. I go back home, just to be subpeonaed again, I try to decline (they had their chance, after all) and they threaten my license. Despite the fact that I was not charged in the lawsuit.

    After several 500 mile trips (one way), subpeonas, having taken off work repeatedly at my new hospital, and being royally jerked around, I place a call to my insurance carrier. They said that they will handle it.

    They did and I never got threatened/subpeonaed again.

    Plenty of people sue over trivial things, and you have little control over that. But the cost of a lawyer just to straighten out the trivial stuff and get it dismissed is prohibitive.

    And we all are capable of error despite our best efforts. If I harm someone, they deserve to get recompensed.
    Last edit by caroladybelle on Sep 30, '06
  7. by   777RNThatsMe
    Quote from caroladybelle
    After several 500 mile trips (one way), subpeonas, having taken off work repeatedly at my new hospital, and being royally jerked around, I place a call to my insurance carrier. They said that they will handle it.

    They did and I never got threatened/subpeonaed again.

    .

    Ok - so now that I'm convinced I will get liab insur asap.... how do we know who the good companies are? Any suggestions? Private is fine too. Thanks
  8. by   GatorRN
    I carry my own health insurance and to me it's worth every penny. It costs me over $400.00 a month through my last place of employment. Private ins was actually more expensive and was useless for me, due to what would be considered a pre-existing condition. I've had to have 3 unexpected surgeries lately, and the last one alone, the bills came up to over $50,000.00!! I'd be paying that off for the rest of my life if I hadn't had insurance, plus the bills from the previous two. So, yeah, I'm a big believer in health insurance being a must.
  9. by   jojotoo
    Quote from tddowney
    Do you have a house? Retirement assests? Car? Savings?

    Depending on the state you live in, and its laws, most of your assets can be taken in a lawsuit, leaving you very little to show for years of work.

    Even if you win the suit, you'll likely spend many thousand$ defending yourself. A common tactic is to scare defendants into forking over a substantial chunk of cash because of fear of legal bills, etc.

    Insurance makes a lot of sense today. And, no, I don't sell it. :wink2:

    Not only could you lose what you have now, but a judgement could be awarded against you for future earnings.
  10. by   jojotoo
    Quote from 777RNThatsMe
    Ok - so now that I'm convinced I will get liab insur asap.... how do we know who the good companies are? Any suggestions? Private is fine too. Thanks


    NSO
  11. by   blueberry21
    I have health insurance thru NSNA--(Nat'l Student Nurse Assoc) It isnt the greatest--only covers accidents and illness--no preventative (routine office visits, mammo, etc). The premium is about $1200/quarter for my husband and I. But I would rather have this than nothing at all. I did a lot of looking around and settled on this because you dont have to be prequalified and whatnot. Im over 40 and in Dade County, (Miami) Florida,==Insurance of ANY kind is unbelievable here. Cant wait till I have decent insurance through my future employer
    Last edit by blueberry21 on Oct 1, '06
  12. by   Sheri257
    I don't know about other states but California has a data base posted on the insurance commissioner's website that tells how many consumer complaints each insurance company has ...

    In my experience ... that's a pretty good indicator ... i.e. if they don't have many complaints.

    :typing
  13. by   TheCommuter
    I have employee-sponsored health insurance.

    I have professional liability insurance through www.Proliability.com because NSO raised their rates for nurses who practice in Texas. The Texas policy for LVNs and RNs costs $300 for a $300,000 aggregate policy. I'm covered with a $6,000,000 aggregate policy for about $100 with Proliability.

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