Should I Carry Malpractice (Liability) Insurance? - pg.17 | allnurses

Should I Carry Malpractice (Liability) Insurance? - page 17

This question comes up frequently and is asked of me quite often, "should I carry malpractice insurance?" Many nurses are covered under their own individual liability insurance carrier. Many more are... Read More

  1. Visit  PS0812 profile page
    1
    As a clinical nurse I always thought that I should have my own malpractice insurance. I knew - as I was told - that the hospital covered all their nurses for malpractice. Once I left the clinical setting and started working for an insurance company my opinion changed. I was asked to review a case (at my former hospital) in which it was my opinion the nurse was negligent (short story, she failed to recognize impending signs of increased intracranial pressure). The patient died and the family sued the hospital, the neurosurgeon and the nurse. The hospital under the doctrine of respondeat superior (let the master answer), the neurosurgeon (who had his own insurance) and the nurse who felt she had coverage not only through the hospital but her own malpractice policy were all sued. When you look at a malpractice policy, under the conditions section, there is wording to the effect that "If any other coverage is enforce at the time of the occurrence, this policy is secondary". Both the hospital's policy and the nurse's policy had that statement (as they all do). Well, when the nurse was asked (by the hospital's risk manager) if she had malpractice insurance - which she did, the hospital denied coverage based upon the "If any other coverage is enforce......." clause. So she put the claim under her coverage only to find out she had no coverage for the exact same reason. She had to, at her own expense, hire two attorneys. One to defend her in the malpractice action and one to sue both insurance companies for coverage. After much and costly litigation (at her expense), she eventually won coverage (by court order) under the hospital's insurance policy. The defense attorney for the hospital told me that if I worked for a hospital to never have my own policy as I would find myself in the same boat should I be sued while in the course/scope of my employment. I learned a valuable lesson at someone else's expense. I caution all of you to read and understand all aspects of your personal malpractice policy, should you have one.
    Last edit by PS0812 on Jun 16 : Reason: forgot to add appropriate sentence
    Clueless91 likes this.
  2. Visit  RiskManager profile page
    1
    The above scenario by PSO812 is not unusual. Your liability insurance from CNA or Liberty Mutual has an 'other insurance' clause and the hospital's insurance also usually has an 'other insurance' clause. You may be stuck in the middle with each insurance company denying coverage for a claim. Many states have appellate court decisions in which this issue has been previously considered and a legal decision handed down that specifies which insurance company responds. Sometimes it is the hospital insurance, sometimes it is the nurse's insurance, and sometimes they both respond on a 50/50 basis.

    There is a reason why nursing liability insurance for the typical nurse is so cheap. It is because they rarely pay any claims. And the reason they rarely pay claims is that coverage is denied under the 'other insurance' or 'excess insurance' clause. Generally speaking, the hospital is on the hook for your liability as an employee.

    There may be good reasons for you to purchase your own liability coverage, which I have discussed elsewhere, but you need to purchase it with your eyes open after researching the issue, and not just assume that the insurance company is going to always cover you and fight vigorously for you, in exchange for your $ 200/year premium.
    ICUman likes this.
  3. Visit  BIGT68 profile page
    0
    Yes, I have malpractice insurance, u hope u never need it, but it is a nice thing to have in the event u ever have to use it
  4. Visit  Pancheta profile page
    0
    Yes you Should. It is inexpensive.
  5. Visit  ajmclean profile page
    0
    It's better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it. Just like a gun.
  6. Visit  kimochee profile page
    0
    Nursing liability insurance coverage overseas for mission work-

    Hello,
    I will be attending a mission as a surgical nurse in Guatemala in the next few months and wondered if there is any legitimate company that provides liability insurance while overseas. I have a carrier for work here in the U.S., but have yet to discover a policy online that works with mission projects.

    Thank you for any ideas!
  7. Visit  blondy2061h profile page
    0
    Quote from PS0812
    As a clinical nurse I always thought that I should have my own malpractice insurance. I knew - as I was told - that the hospital covered all their nurses for malpractice. Once I left the clinical setting and started working for an insurance company my opinion changed. I was asked to review a case (at my former hospital) in which it was my opinion the nurse was negligent (short story, she failed to recognize impending signs of increased intracranial pressure). The patient died and the family sued the hospital, the neurosurgeon and the nurse. The hospital under the doctrine of respondeat superior (let the master answer), the neurosurgeon (who had his own insurance) and the nurse who felt she had coverage not only through the hospital but her own malpractice policy were all sued. When you look at a malpractice policy, under the conditions section, there is wording to the effect that "If any other coverage is enforce at the time of the occurrence, this policy is secondary". Both the hospital's policy and the nurse's policy had that statement (as they all do). Well, when the nurse was asked (by the hospital's risk manager) if she had malpractice insurance - which she did, the hospital denied coverage based upon the "If any other coverage is enforce......." clause. So she put the claim under her coverage only to find out she had no coverage for the exact same reason. She had to, at her own expense, hire two attorneys. One to defend her in the malpractice action and one to sue both insurance companies for coverage. After much and costly litigation (at her expense), she eventually won coverage (by court order) under the hospital's insurance policy. The defense attorney for the hospital told me that if I worked for a hospital to never have my own policy as I would find myself in the same boat should I be sued while in the course/scope of my employment. I learned a valuable lesson at someone else's expense. I caution all of you to read and understand all aspects of your personal malpractice policy, should you have one.
    I've never had personal malpractice insurance before, but some pretty scary things have been happening at work lately, and I'm thinking now I want to get it. I never considered this potential issue, before, though. Anyone else have any thoughts on this risk?
  8. Visit  Helaine401 profile page
    0
    Hey fellow deadhead. I was looking to see what people thought about NSO when I noticed your stealie. I live in NY. Are you, by chance, going to Lockn? I'm asking because I need a ride for my bicycle.
    I graduated nursing school in May. I'm still looking for my first job - the one that doesn't require experience. Not so easy to find.


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