Do you carry personal liability insurance?
- 0Nov 11, '09 by Who?Me?After working a job for the last couple of years where I was "sort of litigation free"(military contract, non-hospital, while husband was stationed overseas), I am headed back into the civilian world and am wondering if I need to pick up a personal liability policy?
What do you think? Do you have a policy? Does it make me more liable to be sued?
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- 2Nov 11, '09 by rn/writer GuideI have a professional liability policy. Even if I never need to use it, at $99 for a year, the peace of mind is well worth the price.
I've heard people say they're covered under their facility's insurance. That's a marginal truth that goes right out the window if there's even a slight conflict of interest. The facility will always do what's best for them, and if that means throwing the nurse under the bus, get ready to kiss some asphalt.
As for the idea that having insurance makes you more of a target, that's a fallacy. The reality is that if you have (or ever intend to have) anything worth owning, a house, savings, a stock portfolio, you are just as much of a target. The only question is what kind of protection you'll have to go with it. Even if you have very little in the way of assets, you can end up with a judgment that will take a toll on future acquisitions. AND you could get stuck with hefty legal fees even if the verdict goes in your favor.
The idea that you'll be all right if you just keep your nose clean is false. You can be perfect in your practice (although I've yet to meet a nurse who is) and still have to defend yourself if someone makes an accusation. That can add up to serious money in short order. Without insurance, you can end up vindicated but financially devastated
I don't mean to sound like a commercial for professional liability insurance, but the cost is so reasonable and the risks so potentially catastrophic that I can't imagine working without it.
- 0Nov 11, '09 by travel50I carry my own professional liability insurance. Costs $99 a yr and it is well worth my peace of mind. I went years without it, but I am seeing more and more lawsuits. Most suits seem ridiculous, but people are looking for ways to get money. They don't care if they sue you to get it. I don't feel like it makes me more apt to be sued just b/c I have the insurance. No one needs to know I have it. They may be less likely to drop the suit once they see you have insurance. But just in case, I am not opting to hand over everything I have to somebody looking for easy money. So I carry it.
- 2Nov 11, '09 by elkparkI know I sound like a broken record on this issue, but all the threads on professional liability insurance always seem to focus on getting sued. Let's be realistic -- statistically, the chances of any nurse being sued for malpractice are very slim. It's not really a big concern (of course, as the saying goes, if it happens to YOU, your chances are 100% ). However, all the standard liability policies for nurses include coverage (payment for legal representation) for if you have to defend your license before the BON or if you're called as a witness against someone else (oh, say, a physician ...) in a lawsuit. Either of those situations is much more likely to occur, over the course of your career, than you being sued; in either case, you'd certainly want (need!) to have legal representation; and, in either case, a lawyer would cost you more per hour (out of your pocket) than the annual premium (in most cases) for your insurance. The standard nursing liability policies also often include salary replacement for the days you're out of work because you're in court or BON hearings, and other random little bennies. Seems like a pretty good deal to me!
I've never worked a day without my own coverage. So far, knock on wood , I've never needed it -- but that could change tomorrow, and I'm sure glad I've got it!