Should I Carry Malpractice (Liability) Insurance? - page 11

by sirI Admin | 207,261 Views | 203 Comments

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 not. I am.......... Are you??... Read More


  1. 4
    Absolutely YES, get malpractice insurance!!! I had been a nurse for over a year when a fellow nurse stopped me in the hallway and asked me what I thought about the whole lawsuit business. When I asked "what lawsuit business" she gasped and said "follow me". I followed her into the locker room where she proceeded to pull a subpoena out of her bag. At the top of the document, listed under defendants.....there was my name. I immediately felt sick to my stomach. I hadn't been served yet so she suggested I go home and buy insurance before it's too late. I got the insurance and it helped with a little piece of mind. I called the company attorney defending us and was told I was on the defendants list because I made 1 entry into the nurses log since I floated to that unit for the one day. It has been 3 months since I saw the subpoena and I have yet to be served. The other nurse that originally told me about this found me the other day to see if I had been served yet. When I told her no, she said she had heard the family amended the lawsuit to include just the doctor. I would have NEVER expected to see my name on a subpoena for malpractice because I really try to cover all my bases when at work. I love having the piece of mind that this insurance gives. Besides I found out the companies we work for are always being sued for malpractice. It's just kept very hush hush. To me it is very much worth the $99 a year I pay. Don't work without it.
    Last edit by RkfdNurse1 on Oct 9, '09 : Reason: meant to use advanced
    talaxandra, surviveslu, Elvish, and 1 other like this.
  2. 3
    I have had malpractice insurance since a student over 30 years ago. We were required to have it before we could step foot on the hospital floor for clinical rotations. I have never let it slip. I have had it with the same carrier all these years. I pay about $90 a year for mine.

    I agree you can be sued just like the MD and the hopsital/facility may cover you at the time but can also come back and sue you to get the money back. Better to be safe thatn sorry.
    lamazeteacher, RkfdNurse1, and sirI like this.
  3. 8
    Also, again, it's not just about being sued. For nurses, the risk that you will ever be sued for malpractice is quite slim. However, most insurance policies for nurses also cover you (pay for legal representation) if you're called as a witness in a lawsuit against someone else or have to appear before the BON to defend your license. Either of those situations is more likely to happen, over the course of your career, than being sued; in either case, you'd certainly want to have an attorney; and, in either case, paying for an attorney out of pocket would likely cost you quite a bit more than the sum of your insurance premiums over your career.
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    I really want to get insurance.. we purchased it through the school as students and I feel like if we had to do it then, there was probably good reason and we should still do it. However I heard someone say something like "if you have nothing to go after the lawyers won't try to go after you because it's not worth it to them, but if you have insurance they will know and they will go after it". Any thoughts on that? Regardless of that though, I think I would feel better with it, I already checked out a quote on NPO and it looked pretty good.
    deidreparkinson and sirI like this.
  5. 3
    Quote from Kittyfeet
    I really want to get insurance.. we purchased it through the school as students and I feel like if we had to do it then, there was probably good reason and we should still do it. However I heard someone say something like "if you have nothing to go after the lawyers won't try to go after you because it's not worth it to them, but if you have insurance they will know and they will go after it". Any thoughts on that? Regardless of that though, I think I would feel better with it, I already checked out a quote on NPO and it looked pretty good.
    Your question has been addressed in this blog. Please read through this blog and you will see what we've said about this very thing.
  6. 1
    Be cautious about where you get your malpractice insurance. I have had NSO since 1998 and in past year have had very frustrating experiences with them. I'm an independent contractor, legal nurse consultant, and company I was contracting with required changes in my coverage to include them before I could do any work for them. It took several months and numerous emails, faxes, and mailings to finally get it taken care of. Later I took an online CE course they provided with promise of 10% credit on policy cost. Again, I have sent numerous emails, faxes and mailings requesting this credit and recently made partial payment of my premium including complete rendition of the events. Today I got a letter from them asking for the remainder of the premium without any referral to my letter and reason for partial payment. I am currently looking for a different company and will change my policy ASAP. I'm sure I will never get a refund on what I've paid but I am very concerned about what will happen if I ever have a malpractice claim.
    deidreparkinson likes this.
  7. 0
    Has anyone else had problems with NSO insurance? I will be a first time buyer.
  8. 1
    Quote from deidreparkinson
    Has anyone else had problems with NSO insurance? I will be a first time buyer.
    I haven't had any problems with them so far.
    deidreparkinson likes this.
  9. 2
    If a nurse is following hospital policy, and an event occurs, the hospital liability insurance would cover her and any costs associated with a lawsuit. If a nurse carries personal liability insurance in addition to the hospital liability insurance, the plaintiff can and will seek out the nurse individually, and often the company from which a nurse is insured is in a different state from where he/she is currently practicing, thus complicating any involvment from the private attorneys. The plaintiff wants the deep pockets, and if the nurse is carrying personal liability insurance, I believe they are more likely to be sought out personally. If you talk to an attorney that is in the business to make money off of a nurse's anguish, then they will strongly urge you to carry personal liability insurance. If you talk with corporate attorneys, they do not beleive this is additional protection for the nurse (unless they were practicing outside of the scope of practice, or hospital policy during the event). This would definitely have to be a personal decision, and evaluation of one's own practice patterns.
    reidob and deidreparkinson like this.
  10. 6
    Quote from mgrtype
    if a nurse is following hospital policy, and an event occurs, the hospital liability insurance would cover her and any costs associated with a lawsuit.
    the coverage for the hospital, a much more lucrative client will be the priority of their insurance company. when "push comes to shove", especially in these economic times, nurses without their own policy could find themselves the scapegoat.......
    if a nurse carries personal liability insurance in addition to the hospital liability insurance, the plaintiff can and will seek out the nurse individually, and often the company from which a nurse is insured is in a different state from where he/she is currently practicing, thus complicating any involvment from the private attorneys.
    reading the policy regarding legal representation is an essential part of the private insurance policy (yet you only get the policy to read, after paying for the insurance, unless you can read the policy of a colleague who has that insurance), to see if attorneys from any state in which the trouble happened, are covered.

    the plaintiff wants the deep pockets, and if the nurse is carrying personal liability insurance, i believe they are more likely to be sought out personally. not necessariloy, most lawsuits sweep everyone up, and if the nurse has no private insurance and the hospital's insurance company's legal representation isn't helping him/her, you may find yourself having to pay for your own legal representation, which could require a huge "up front" fee you don't have, called a "retainer fee".

    if you talk to an attorney that is in the business to make money off of a nurse's anguish they don't think or talk anguish, unless they're pleading in court for a victim of malpractise - most attorneys don't care about nurses' anguish at all....., then they will strongly urge you to carry personal liability insurance. if you talk with corporate attorneys, they do not believe this is additional protection for the nurse (unless they were practicing outside of the scope of practice, or hospital policy during the event).sometimes that happens in a crisis, without being realized. perfection is nearly impossible to achieve, even in the best of circumstances. this would definitely have to be a personal decision, and evaluation of one's own practice patterns.
    good, appropriate practise patterns during a calm time are usually great, but when a patient "crashes", and everyone is yelling at each other, it's harder, if not impossible to achieve. also, when the dust clears, the others involved in the crisis will have "selective" memory to save their own hides.

    i hate to be so pessimistic, but i've been in nursing just about 50 years, covered cpr responses to critique them, and heard the fallout. it's not pretty, as most of us have self serving instincts.


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