Should I Carry Malpractice (Liability) Insurance? - page 18

by sirI 196,356 Views | 199 Comments Admin

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. 0
    Yes Caffein...if you were covered at the time stated in the lawsuit, then you are certainly covered. It doesn't matter that you aren't covered now.
  2. 1
    Thanks RkfdBNurse1

    For rest of us I found some helpful tips to keep in my when buying insurance. Sharing the link for the same:

    Don't Make These Mistakes When Buying Your Malpractice Insurance!
    kittyn likes this.
  3. 6
    Most nurses seem to use NSO without much thought. I couldn't stand to not know what the other options are, so I did some research.

    I found that there are really only three widely-available companies that sell liability insurance for nurses. The first post of this thread has a lot of links that turn out to be different names for the same insurance policies.

    NSO/HPSO are the same (CNA Insurance). Marsh, Proliability, and CPH are the same. Then there is CMF Group.

    It turns out that they are all pretty similar in price and coverage. All of them give very quick online price quotes and you can get coverage instantly online with a credit card.

    NSO is slightly more expensive than the others (and has a $2 nonsense membership fee to boot). The NSO policy is written with a lot of legalese but is very comprehensive. You can't pick your own lawyer if you have to go to a deposition and the $500 cap for a license hearing seems low. NSO does not offer a high-limit $2 million per incident/$4 million total policy like the other two.

    Marsh doesn't have any policy documents available online before purchase, so I don't have any particular comments. Marsh does offer a 10% discount for nurses working in a magnet hospital or for having certain certifications.

    CMF Group has a low-cost $500k per incident/$1 million total policy option that would be a good choice for younger nurses without many assets to protect. The insurance also includes a personal liability component which is good if you don't have homeowner's or renter's insurance. CMF has smaller limits on extra coverages (coverages beyond basic liability) than the other two companies.
    EarlyRN, sam1984, Swellz, and 3 others like this.
  4. 4
    Here are the coverage details for the three companies when I was looking for insurance for Maryland recently. The link in Caffein's post above has explanations for some of the terminology.

    NSO/HPSO (CNA)

    Type of coverage: Occurence
    1 mil/6 mil: $108
    1 mil/3 mil: $104
    500k/2.5 mil: $90
    (prices include annual membership fee)

    Defendant & Lost wages coverage: 25k limit
    License defense protection: 10k/25k (capped at $500/hearing)
    Assault protection: 10k/25k
    Property damage: 500/10k
    Deposition representation: 10k


    MARSH/PROLIABILITY/CPH

    Type of coverage: ??
    1 mil/6 mil: $98
    2 mil/4 mil: $114

    Defendant & Lost wages coverage: 10k limit
    License defense protection: 10k/25k
    Assault protection: 10k/25k (includes 10k property damage)
    Deposition representation: 5k


    CMFGROUP (AIG)

    Type of coverage: Occurence
    1 mil/6 mil: $99
    2 mil/4 mil: $114
    500k/1 mil: $58

    Defendant & Lost wages coverage: 5k limit
    License defense protection (administrative hearings): 5k
    Assault protection: 5k
    Property damage: ?
    Deposition representation: 2500
    Last edit by kanling on Dec 27, '12 : Reason: clean up spacing
    Swellz, kittyn, lindarn, and 1 other like this.
  5. 0
    As a nurse turned attorney working in a plaintiff's law firm in malpractice matters...I have been asked this question several times about whether to carry malpractice insurance. My answer to them is always no (based on the way things work in the area I practice law). Let me share a little bit about the legal process and what happens when we sue practitioners...

    Most of the time, we sue physicians and not nurses. They are usually the one who missed a diagnoses or ordered the wrong med. That being said, the mistake is sometimes on the nurse for not following doctors orders correctly or by not reporting signs/symptoms in a timely manner.

    Now as a nurse attorney, I am the one in my firm the delves in to the medical records and bills. Our clients are sometimes severely devistated and rack up the medical bills. I have seen countless clients with medical bills from $200,000 to over 1 mil in charges. So as attorneys our job is to recover enough to pay back their bills, pay our fee, and set them up to be covered the rest of their life. You can imagine that this sum can add up. Frequently our life care plans will dictate that our clients will need $5,000,000 to $20,000,000 to make it through the rest of their life (depending on the type of injury and client).

    Most doctors/nurses do not have enough insurance to cover nearly that amount. So our main goal....to get the hospital involved (assuming the incident occurred while the patient was inpatient.) We go for the hospital not because they have "deep pockets" but because they employ the persons who committed the negligence and because they are the only ones who can realistically help the patient pay for condition for the rest of their life (ie, brain damage, paralysis, loss of limb...we have all of these types of cases).

    So why do I say RNs do not need malpractice insurance? Well I dont know if this is just my law firm, but I rarely see a nurse sued personally, meaning that we expect to hold the nurse liable for the damages so that she'd have to pay out of her pocket and lose her house becuase of it. I mean seriously, how many nurses have you heard of that happening to? We sue the nurse to bring in the hospital...point blank thats it. Once we establish legally that the nurse was acting under her scope of employment at her employing hospital (which is almost always the case unless the nurse committed some sort of assault or sexual abuse), we let the nurse out of the suit and continue with the hospital. We know that nurses can't afford to pay for the damages of our client and we quite frankly do not like suing nurses period because we appreciate the work they do. All that having malpractice insurance for a nurse does is give us a reason to keep you involved with the case instead of letting you out.

    Just my perspective as a nurse attorney doing plaintiff's work. It is true that a hospital hires lawyers for its own benefit, but there is no way they will argue that the nurse should be liable alone and blame it all on the nurse to pay for all of the damages alone. Most of the time, they will argue for the nurse to prove that she did nothing wrong and even if she did, that the wrong had no affect on the patient outcome.

    In conclusion, I do not believe nurses need malpractice insurance though I would recommend speaking with an attorney in your particular state. I am in the Washington DC area in case you are wondering. I do not have any malpractice insurance and neither does my mother, an RN for over 30 years. We have sued many nurses with out malpractice insurance and I assure you they did not lose their house. We almost always let them out of the suit. hope this helps!!
  6. 3
    In my opinion, this is the biggest misconception there is about having insurance. It is total nonsense. My dad was an insurance exec for years and insured a lot of hospitals. He made me get insurance the day I graduated and I've had it, in one form or another, ever since. One thing I learned was that if the hospital's insurer has to pay a claim because of something you did (or that the hospital didn't supervise you doing), they are perfectly within their legal rights to turn around and recover their loss from YOU, and no amount of verbiage from the hospital about what a nice person you are is going to stop them. It also won't matter a damn if the atty suing didn't really want to go after you personally.

    Never, never, never, never go without your own insurance. It will also pay for your own attorney-- do NOT believe for one minute that the hospital's law firm cares about you. They will throw you under the bus in a heartbeat if it saves the hospital's interest, since you do not pay them and as above, the insurer will go after you anyway and they know it. Your own insurance carrier's atty will also defend you at the BON if needed-- and they will do an excellent job, because they work for YOUR insurance and their money is in the game.
    Elvish, elkpark, and sirI like this.
  7. 0
    Quote from Nicole0822
    As a nurse turned attorney working in a plaintiff's law firm in malpractice matters...I have been asked this question several times about whether to carry malpractice insurance. My answer to them is always no (based on the way things work in the area I practice law). Let me share a little bit about the legal process and what happens when we sue practitioners...Most of the time, we sue physicians and not nurses. They are usually the one who missed a diagnoses or ordered the wrong med. That being said, the mistake is sometimes on the nurse for not following doctors orders correctly or by not reporting signs/symptoms in a timely manner. Now as a nurse attorney, I am the one in my firm the delves in to the medical records and bills. Our clients are sometimes severely devistated and rack up the medical bills. I have seen countless clients with medical bills from $200,000 to over 1 mil in charges. So as attorneys our job is to recover enough to pay back their bills, pay our fee, and set them up to be covered the rest of their life. You can imagine that this sum can add up. Frequently our life care plans will dictate that our clients will need $5,000,000 to $20,000,000 to make it through the rest of their life (depending on the type of injury and client). Most doctors/nurses do not have enough insurance to cover nearly that amount. So our main goal....to get the hospital involved (assuming the incident occurred while the patient was inpatient.) We go for the hospital not because they have "deep pockets" but because they employ the persons who committed the negligence and because they are the only ones who can realistically help the patient pay for condition for the rest of their life (ie, brain damage, paralysis, loss of limb...we have all of these types of cases). So why do I say RNs do not need malpractice insurance? Well I dont know if this is just my law firm, but I rarely see a nurse sued personally, meaning that we expect to hold the nurse liable for the damages so that she'd have to pay out of her pocket and lose her house becuase of it. I mean seriously, how many nurses have you heard of that happening to? We sue the nurse to bring in the hospital...point blank thats it. Once we establish legally that the nurse was acting under her scope of employment at her employing hospital (which is almost always the case unless the nurse committed some sort of assault or sexual abuse), we let the nurse out of the suit and continue with the hospital. We know that nurses can't afford to pay for the damages of our client and we quite frankly do not like suing nurses period because we appreciate the work they do. All that having malpractice insurance for a nurse does is give us a reason to keep you involved with the case instead of letting you out.Just my perspective as a nurse attorney doing plaintiff's work. It is true that a hospital hires lawyers for its own benefit, but there is no way they will argue that the nurse should be liable alone and blame it all on the nurse to pay for all of the damages alone. Most of the time, they will argue for the nurse to prove that she did nothing wrong and even if she did, that the wrong had no affect on the patient outcome.In conclusion, I do not believe nurses need malpractice insurance though I would recommend speaking with an attorney in your particular state. I am in the Washington DC area in case you are wondering. I do not have any malpractice insurance and neither does my mother, an RN for over 30 years. We have sued many nurses with out malpractice insurance and I assure you they did not lose their house. We almost always let them out of the suit. hope this helps!!
    Some people make a claim that just by 'having' inurance that you are more apt to be sued by money grubbers looking to make a buck.
  8. 0
    Quote from mlbluvr
    Some people make a claim that just by 'having' inurance that you are more apt to be sued by money grubbers looking to make a buck.

    Anybody can sue anybody for any old thing, even if they can't get an attorney to take the case. Don't confuse "being sued" with "losing." Never go bare. Your malpractice insurance will pay for the attorney to defend you against that, too.
  9. 2
    Quote from Nicole0822
    As a nurse turned attorney working in a plaintiff's law firm in malpractice matters...I have been asked this question several times about whether to carry malpractice insurance. My answer to them is always no (based on the way things work in the area I practice law). Let me share a little bit about the legal process and what happens when we sue practitioners...
    Yeah, sure, I'm going to take advice about carrying liability coverage from a plaintiff's attorney ...
    Swellz and GrnTea like this.
  10. 0
    It is interesting to hear both perspectives. A cousin of mine is a nurse attorney, so I will ask her what she thinks when I see her in a couple weeks.


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