Finally got malpractice insurance. - page 2

I have hemmed and hawed for years, and with each passing year in practice, gotten more and more anxious about NOT having malpractice insurance. I had always been told "nurses who carry personal... Read More

  1. by   RiskManager
    So are you stating that you were named in a FTCA claim and the Feds did not cover you?
  2. by   carolinapooh
    No, that's not what I said. And inside the military works a bit differently.]

    The whole clinic was named in the lawsuit (which was eventually dropped due to a lack of an actual case).

    JAG backs the USAF. Everyone named is always, always advised to seek ADC's advice. That's their job. I spoke with ADC first, ADC spoke with JAG, JAG spoke with me, my documentation was reviewed and there were zero holes. Pursuing me would've gotten the plaintiff nowhere. JAG let them know this, and I was essentially excused.

    Had I been pursued outside of Federal court (I was warned this was being bandied about by the plaintiff - good luck with that) and via the state, naming my nursing practice as a problem, yes - my professional insurance, per JAG, steps up to the plate because that has zero to do with the Feds at that point.

    Military nurses can still be sued outside of the military. Plus, if I ever work outside the base, I need it. I still have a compact license. So I carry it.
  3. by   carolinapooh
    I'm sure there are gaping holes in my legalese....LOL I'm not a lawyer. I just do what I'm advised to do.
  4. by   TriciaJ
    Quote from Sour Lemon
    I hope you never have to use it! I've been meaning to get it for six years. Maybe my day is coming, too ....I'm such a horrible procrastinator.
    Get it today! Nurses Service Organization is a good one - you can probably get in online now. Peace of mind is a wonderful thing.
  5. by   SC_RNDude
    Quote from quazar
    I hope I never have to use it, either! I feel so much better now knowing it's there, though. Just in case.
    I totally agree with this logic.

    I also spend an extra $100 a year on a policy that protects my house in the event of a meteor strike.

    I feel so much better...just in case.
  6. by   KCMnurse
    Everyone is talking about the hospital covering you in the event of a lawsuit. Well, not all nurses work in a hospital. Nurses in home-health and nursing homes are particularly vulnerable. No-one knows you're covered unless you advertise -so you being sued first because you have malpractice insurance is garbage. Read the small print. For the peace of mind it offers it's worth it.
  7. by   RiskManager
    Quote from KCMnurse
    Everyone is talking about the hospital covering you in the event of a lawsuit. Well, not all nurses work in a hospital. Nurses in home-health and nursing homes are particularly vulnerable. No-one knows you're covered unless you advertise -so you being sued first because you have malpractice insurance is garbage. Read the small print. For the peace of mind it offers it's worth it.
    Generally speaking, the employer, regardless of whom it is, is legally liable for the acts of the employees. Nursing homes and home health agencies generally have liability insurance to cover the acts of the employees, just as a hospital or clinic does. A nursing home or home health agency employee is therefore covered by the employer's insurance just as in the hospital or clinic. If your employer does not have liability insurance, or you are not an actual employee (you are an independent contractor or the like), then having your own insurance would be vital, since it would then be first-dollar coverage, rather than excess coverage.
  8. by   DeeAngel
    Keep in mind you must always keep your malpractice insurance in force even when you are no longer working as a nurse. You need to keep yourself insured in keeping with the statute of limitations for lawsuits in your state. I know I have to keep mine in force in my state for 10 years, despite not even working as a nurse for the last 3 years. Malpractice insurance is not something to skimp on.
  9. by   CHESSIE
    Quote from quazar
    I have hemmed and hawed for years, and with each passing year in practice, gotten more and more anxious about NOT having malpractice insurance. I had always been told "nurses who carry personal insurance are sued first," but then I had also been told that the hospital will only cover you if you followed hospital policy down to the exact letter (and we all know human error is a real thing) and will throw you under the bus the first chance they get.

    I have watched coworkers go through awful lawsuits, and have had experiences at work that increasingly leave me praying at the bedside that everything turns out okay and that I don't end up in court. My line of work is just plain scary sometimes (OB). Patients are getting sicker, and pregnancies are getting more and more high risk with more and more co-morbidities that make for sometimes frightening situations at the bedside.

    I have been reading through threads on this site for a few weeks trying to decide, and I finally decided that enough is enough, and that my peace of mind is worth $109 a year. I feel like a weight has been lifted. I just had to share.
    Great advice. In 1955 when I was a nursing student, and later as a new RN, no RN carried her/his own malpractice insurance. Nurses were rarely, if ever, sued. Today our entire society has become more and more litigious.
    I took time off to raise my family and reentered nursing after this hiatus. When I returned, a younger RN took me aside and told me to carry my own liability insurance, but not to mention this fact. Yes, the hospital has liability insurance and can be of help, but deviate, just slightly from the precise protocol, even in an emergency, and you might be told that you are not covered by the hospital. In the more vernacular, "you may be thrown under the bus."
    I immediately contacted the NSO and purchased my own insurance, which I renewed every year, until I retired. Should I choose to even volunteer, using my RN, I will contact NSO and carry my own liability insurance.
  10. by   RiskManager
    Quote from CHESSIE
    Great advice. In 1955 when I was a nursing student, and later as a new RN, no RN carried her/his own malpractice insurance. Nurses were rarely, if ever, sued. Today our entire society has become more and more litigious.
    I took time off to raise my family and reentered nursing after this hiatus. When I returned, a younger RN took me aside and told me to carry my own liability insurance, but not to mention this fact. Yes, the hospital has liability insurance and can be of help, but deviate, just slightly from the precise protocol, even in an emergency, and you might be told that you are not covered by the hospital. In the more vernacular, "you may be thrown under the bus."
    I immediately contacted the NSO and purchased my own insurance, which I renewed every year, until I retired. Should I choose to even volunteer, using my RN, I will contact NSO and carry my own liability insurance.
    My article linked above discusses how this is generally an inaccurate statement. If you have questions about this sort of thing, you really should be talking to one of my risk, medmal claims, medmal insurance or medical-legal colleagues who are experts in the field. Not someone who has no training, experience or expertise in a technical subject yet renders an opinion nonetheless. I am certainly happy to help with any questions.
  11. by   SC_RNDude
    Quote from CHESSIE
    Great advice. In 1955 when I was a nursing student, and later as a new RN, no RN carried her/his own malpractice insurance. Nurses were rarely, if ever, sued. Today our entire society has become more and more litigious.
    I took time off to raise my family and reentered nursing after this hiatus. When I returned, a younger RN took me aside and told me to carry my own liability insurance, but not to mention this fact. Yes, the hospital has liability insurance and can be of help, but deviate, just slightly from the precise protocol, even in an emergency, and you might be told that you are not covered by the hospital. In the more vernacular, "you may be thrown under the bus."
    I immediately contacted the NSO and purchased my own insurance, which I renewed every year, until I retired. Should I choose to even volunteer, using my RN, I will contact NSO and carry my own liability insurance.
    You have been a nurse a long time. I would like to hear of all the nurses you have known that have been sued and have their own liability insurance kick in to save them.

    Please share!
  12. by   RiskManager
    Quote from DeeAngel
    Keep in mind you must always keep your malpractice insurance in force even when you are no longer working as a nurse. You need to keep yourself insured in keeping with the statute of limitations for lawsuits in your state. I know I have to keep mine in force in my state for 10 years, despite not even working as a nurse for the last 3 years. Malpractice insurance is not something to skimp on.
    I am sorry, but this too, is incorrect. First off, of course, you will in all likelihood be covered by your employer's insurance, even for a claim that occurred years ago and after you quit there. In terms of an individual policy, you first need to determine if your individual policy is 'occurrence' or 'claims made'. The actual policy will say on it if it is occurrence or claims made. If you have an 'occurrence' policy, you are covered for any claims that occurred while the policy was in force. You are still covered for any claims that are reported even after the policy is cancelled. A 'claims made' policy covers you for any claims that occurred and were reported while the policy was in force. If you want the claims made coverage to cover any claims that occurred while the policy was in force but were not reported until after the policy was cancelled, you have to purchase an 'extended reporting endorsement', or 'tail coverage'. The combination of a claims made policy plus tail coverage turns it into an occurrence policy. Tail coverage generally costs between 150-200% of your last annual premium. Most nursing policies are 'occurrence' while most physician policies are 'claims made'.

    What this means is that depending on which type of policy you have, you don't need to keep it in force after you have retired or otherwise quit providing nursing services. If you had an occurrence policy, you are covered for anything that occurred while the policy was in force regardless of when the claim is reported. If you had a claims made policy with tail coverage, you are covered for anything that occurred while the policy was in force regardless of when the claim is reported. This applies even after the policy is cancelled.

    You may want to continue to pay for an individual policy even after you retire or are otherwise not providing nursing services because you want the other additional coverages, but paying for it so that you are covered for a potential claim occurring years ago should not be a reason. That is already built into the policy.

    Let me emphasize however, that if you have a 'claims made' policy and do not buy the tail coverage, if a claim is reported after the policy is cancelled, you will have no coverage for that claim. I run into this on occasion with physicians who cheaped out and did not buy the tail coverage. A claim came up years later that was not reported while the policy was in force, and there is no tail coverage, so the insurance company declines to cover the claim.

    Let me know if you have any questions, or you can call the agency who sold you the policy to confirm this.
  13. by   tkostas
    I too have never known a nurse to use her liability insurance, and have been nursing since 1987. We were always told they go for the money, meaning the doctors, but times are changing. And, often the insurance is not enough anyway, so you could still loose your assets. However, anything that gives peace of mind is worth about $100 a year, although I have never carried it myself.

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