Should I Carry Malpractice (Liability) Insurance?
by sirI, MSN, APRN, NP Admin | 207,501 Views | 203 Comments
Nurses can be sued at any time, for any reason. Often, allegations brought against you are unfounded, but just being named in a lawsuit gives one pause and can be one of the most stressful times in your life. The nurse feels embarrassed and fears damage to a perfect reputation.
- 86 Published May 13, '09This 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 not. I am.......... Are you??
The number of Adverse Action Reports (license defense issues) against nurses nearly doubled between 2003 - 2012
Your employer's policy may cover you, but only up to a point. Remember: Your employer's policy is created to fit their specific needs and protects them first.
You may even be told (by your employer hr) that you do not need your own policy. What they do not tell you is that they want you to be represented by their attorneys. They do not want "outside" representation for they know that their best interests will not be first and foremost. carrying your own policy will ensure you personal attorney representation when you need it and this attorney will be concerned with only protecting your needs and your best interests.
All malpractice insurance policies have limits of liability. If you are only covered by your employer's insurance, other defendants employed at your entity may and probably do share your liability limits under the same policy. If you as well as others are named in a suit, your legal costs, including any settlement, could exceed your employer's shared liability limits. This would mean out-of-pocket expenses for you!!
The following are a few individual carriers:
- nurses service organization - www.nso.com
- marsh affinity - www.proliability.com
- www.seaburychicago.com - not in all states
- liability insurance can also be purchased through cna by going to the american nurses association website - www.nursingworld.org
- and, some home owners insurance policies will have stipulations for liability insurance.
It is up to the individual nurse how much liability to carry. $1,000,000/$6,000,000 coverage premiums are approximately $90/year in most states for the RN and $90/year for the LPN.
Another benefit of carrying individual coverage which extends beyond your employer's limits:
- license protection
Many carriers reimburse you up to a certain amount if you are defending disciplinary charges with your Board of Nursing (BON).
Many policies also address the following (not all inclusive):
- charges of confidentiality violation
- assault on the job
the importance of professional liability insurance in managing risk - CEU expired
The information and knowledge gained should assist nurses in all clinical practice areas to take control and manage the risks within their individual workplace and nursing practice.
The nursing risk management series:
These independent study modules are:
i: "an overview of risk management"
ii: "the rewards and risks of the functional aspects of nursing education, information systems and management" and
iii. "ethical issues and specific risk hazards faced by nurses in their practice."
So, do you carry your own individual liability insurance??
Small price to pay for peace of mind...
Last edit by sirI on Nov 18, '14
About sirI, MSN, APRN, NP
sirI has 'many' year(s) of experience and specializes in 'APRN, LNC, Forensics, OB, ED, Education'. From 'USA'; Joined Jun '05; Posts: 88,954; Likes: 23,379.2May 15, '09 by cjcsoon2brn, BSN, RNThat's really interesting, I honestly haven't put much thought into that. So sirI at what point would you recommend that we look into malpractice insurance? I am still a student but I want to be prepared for these kind of things ahead of time.
!Chris2May 15, '09 by VickyRN Senior ModeratorExcellent advice, sirI! I encourage my students to purchase their own liability insurance upon graduation. (In our program, each student is required to purchase liability insurance at a very inexpensive student rate from a provider that contracts with our college of nursing.)2May 15, '09 by sirI, MSN, APRN, NP AdminQuote from cjcsoon2brnHello, !ChrisThat's really interesting, I honestly haven't put much thought into that. So sirI at what point would you recommend that we look into malpractice insurance? I am still a student but I want to be prepared for these kind of things ahead of time.
Like VickyRN said, I, too, advise my students to secure personal/individual liability insurance. But, I advise them to purchase while still a student.
With NSO, these rates are around $29 /year for 1,000,000/6,000,000 coverage. It is rare a nursing student is successfully sued, but they are named in lawsuits. It is, as I pointed out, a small fee for peace of mind.2May 15, '09 by donsterRN, BSN, RNThis is excellent information to have!
My program briefly discussed malpractice insurance with us, but no one (to the best of my memory) actually made recommendations. My nursing journals always have the NSO insurance application at the front of the magazine, but I honestly never really paid much attention. You can bet I will now. As a matter of fact, I'll complete an app today. It's well worth it not to worry about it.