As an RN do you have your own pvt malpractice insurance?

  1. I'm a new grad so bear with me! The hospital covers you from malpractice right? But aren't their situations where the hospital's insurance won't cover you? Is it smarter to get your own insurance in addition to the hospital?
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    About squatmunkie_RN

    Joined: Jun '10; Posts: 182; Likes: 411

    55 Comments

  3. by   nurse grace RN
    YES, invest in it. You can't depend on the hospital to cover you in all situations.
  4. by   IowaKaren
    Yes, you can still be named in a law suit.
  5. by   anonymurse
    Yeah. The hosp will say they have you covered. But if you were an ins co and had to choose who to throw under the bus, the hosp who pays the premiums, or some nurse, what would you do?
  6. by   Ginnipher
    We were talking about this in class the other day. My professor stated, "The hospital is only concerned about the hospital, not you as an individual, get your own coverage"
  7. by   holly123
    Get your own coverage and dont tell anyone about it...if no one knows you have it, they wont be enticed to come after you for anything. But then it would always be there if something ever did hapen and you need it.
  8. by   morphed
    I believe the only situation in which you are not covered by the hospital is when you are practicing out of your scope. Ideally that should never happen. Having your own insurance sounds like it's a safe, extra form of coverage, but it isn't! The above poster said just don't tell anyone if you have it so they can't come after you, but that's not really smart. If a patient or lawyer does a little snooping, they can easily find out if you have your own coverage. If you have your own coverage, it opens you up to being sued. Not so if you don't have private coverage.
  9. by   elkpark
    There are a whole bunch of existing threads here on this same topic -- you could find them with the "search" button if you're interested in reading what's already been discussed.
  10. by   HeartsOpenWide
    Yes. The hospital is interested in covering their own butt. If it looks like you are at fault, you need your own malpractice. They will pull the rug out from under you to save themselves, in a heart beat. My home owners insurance has a special clause recommending additional coverage specifically for nurses; I have NSO so I am cover, but the fact that in home owners insurance states nurses need additional coverage...I am not loosing my home to some malpractice suit!
  11. by   rn/writer
    Yes, get your own professional liability (malpractice) insurance. Hospitals will try to defend their employees to a point to because it helps to lessen their own liability. But if there is ever a conflict of interest, if there is ever a situation where sacrificing you would help them, what do you think will happen?

    For most nurses, a good policy with reasonable amounts should run less than one day's pay per year. One day. To give you peace of mind and protection all the other days. Seems goofy not to ante up.

    The other thing that I have seen in this and other threads is the bit about not telling anyone you have liability insurance so they don't "go after you." I have never told a patient that I carry a policy--it just doesn't come up in conversation--but it's a myth that no one will sue you or be able to collect damages if you don't look like you have "deep pockets."

    Why? Because lawsuits often name anyone and everyone involved in an incident, hoping something will stick. Do you want to be the only one who doesn't have legal representation?

    If you own a house or have savings, you need this kind of protection, even if you're a perfect nurse because you don't have to have made an error to be included in a lawsuit.

    Defending yourself (even if you have done nothing wrong) can cost far more than buying a policy.

    For those just starting out who don't have liability insurance because they have little in the way of assets, remember that judgments can attach future earnings and keep you from being able to buy a house or save for retirement.

    My renewal policy this year is less than $120, and I'm happy to write the check.
  12. by   elkpark
    Quote from rn/writer
    Defending yourself (even if you have done nothing wrong) can cost far more than buying a policy.
    Yes -- the first hour of an attorney's time will cost you more than the annual insurance premium for most nurses.

    There's another thing that sometimes doesn't get mentioned in these discussions. Everyone is so focused on being sued for malpractice but the reality is that, statistically, nurses have a pretty low chance of ever getting sued (hardly worth mentioning, even). However, the standard individual professional liability (malpractice) policies also provide coverage for legal representation if you have to defend your license before the BON, and if you're called as a witness in a suit against someone else (oh, say, a physician you work with -- they do get sued ... ) Your employer's insurance won't cover you if you have to go before the BON, and, depending on the specifics of a lawsuit in which you might be called as a witness, your employer's insurance might not be covering you in that situation, either. In both those cases, you'd certainly want to have legal representation and, again, the first hour you pay an attorney will cost you more than a whole year's premium for the insurance.

    Also, many people like to volunteer in various ways in the community, their church, etc., as a nurse. Your employer's insurance only covers you when you're at work, working for your employer (if it even covers you then, which is a whole different topic). Your own individual coverage covers you any time or place that you're practicing as a nurse, whether or not you're getting paid for doing so, so you're covered if you're volunteering somewhere, stopping at the scene of an accident, helping a neighbor, "moonlighting" at a second job, or any other kind of nursing you may choose to do.
  13. by   cabanaboy
    I couldn't agree more with all the reasons to get insurance.

    Also, as an additional response to the false reasoning that if you have insurance you are more likely to be sued....even if that was true, the insurance company has an interest in defending you. And it is just as likely to discourage a suit if an attorney doesn't think it will be worth his/her time and expense to fight with the insurance company.
  14. by   kcochrane
    There are several reasons why it is a good idea including those already mentioned. But suppose a hospital or facility goes belly up and 5 years later you find yourself named in a suit. What happens? What if a facility is financially strapped and doesn't pay a few months premiums?

    I think what hit home for me is when my instructor showed a bulletin board from lawyer actually mentioning suing nurses (specifically those in LTC).

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