Finally got malpractice insurance.

  1. 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.
    Last edit by quazar on Sep 1, '16
  2. Visit quazar profile page

    About quazar, BSN

    Joined: Apr '16; Posts: 612; Likes: 2,611
    Specialty: 20 year(s) of experience

    73 Comments

  3. by   GM2RN
    Congratulations! You did the right thing!
  4. by   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.
  5. by   quazar
    I hope I never have to use it, either! I feel so much better now knowing it's there, though. Just in case.
  6. by   CoffeeRTC
    I just got some a few months ago too. It was one of those things I knew i needed but for some reason never got it done. Things have been crazy where I work. All I needed was the fear of being dragged into something. It gave me the push. It really is a big weight off my chest!
  7. by   RiskManager
    To the OP, and how many of those co-workers going through awful lawsuits had to use their own coverage? My guess is none, given that the CNA coverage is excess over your coverage through your employer, and is therefore rarely triggered.
  8. by   quazar
    Quote from RiskManager
    To the OP, and how many of those co-workers going through awful lawsuits had to use their own coverage? My guess is none, given that the CNA coverage is excess over your coverage through your employer, and is therefore rarely triggered.
    I honestly don't know, I didn't ask. The experiences that led them to court were so traumatic that I didn't want to prod them about the proceedings.
  9. by   RiskManager
    One Healthcare Risk Manager's View Of Individual Nursing Malpractice Insurance

    I am of the opinion that buying your own coverage may be a good thing, as long as you are making an educated decision as to what it actually does and does not cover. Most nurses buy it under the mistaken belief that if they are involved in a malpractice claim or a BON investigation, that CNA or Liberty Mutual insurance will retain a lawyer for them and represent their interests, and this only happens in very narrow circumstances in which your own coverage will be triggered. But there are other coverages in the policy which can also be valuable to the purchaser.

    For the OP, I would bet cash money that your co-workers were covered by the hospital insurance, just as you will be if you ever are involved in a bad baby case. My article goes into the details of this.
  10. by   amoLucia
    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.
    Like auto insurance, you hope you'll never need it. But it's good to know it's there.

    Ditto for health insurance and life insurance.
  11. by   carolinapooh
    The hospital is NOT there to protect you. It's there to protect itself. I would never expect a hospital to back me up for any error - real or imagined - that I committed.

    I don't know where the myth came from that RNs with malpractice insurance are sued first. There's not even a way for a plaintiff to discover if you even have malpractice insurance unless you tell them! In fact, I've been told by attorneys RNs are generally sued first BECAUSE IT'S ASSUMED THE PLANTIFF WON'T HAVE TO FIGHT AN INSURANCE COMPANY.

    The cited article is one opinion. Only one. My husband's best friend is a lawyer. I'll take his advice any day.

    Insurance companies fight on your behalf so they don't have to pay. That's their job. The hospital couldn't care less about anything except its own neck.

    Where these crazy alter ideas came from I'll never know. They make absolutely no sense.

    I have a house and assets I'd like to keep. You can bet I carry it - because JAG isn't here for me; they're here for the Air Force. It's not expensive to get - but losing your house, or fighting to keep it, is.

    You did the right thing.
  12. by   3ringnursing
    I'm convinced. I'm looking into it first thing tomorrow. $100-odd dollars a year is a small price to pay for peace of mind. Too bad everything else in life weren't so simple.
  13. by   RiskManager
    Ooh, Carolinapooh, sorry to tell you, but you could not be more wrong in some of your beliefs. I recommend that you sit down with the base hospital risk manager or the JAG medical tort claims officer, and ask them to explain 'vicarious liability of the employer for the employee', 'respondeat superior', the 'Federal Tort Claims Act' and 'excess coverage' to you. Then call CNA (if you bought your policy from NSO) or Liberty Mutual (if you bought your policy from ProLiability), tell them you are on active duty in the military, and ask them if your personal policy will provide first dollar coverage and a defense attorney to you if the United States of America is sued due to any nursing errors you commit as a member of the military. You could also print off my article and the comments thereto, give it to the risk manager or tort claims officer and ask if they disagree with any of it.

    If you follow my suggestions above, I think you will be very surprised at the answers you will hear. Let me know if I can answer any questions for you.
  14. by   carolinapooh
    Quote from RiskManager
    Ooh, Carolinapooh, sorry to tell you, but you could not be more wrong in some of your beliefs. I recommend that you sit down with the base hospital risk manager or the JAG medical tort claims officer, and ask them to explain 'vicarious liability of the employer for the employee', 'respondeat superior', the 'Federal Tort Claims Act' and 'excess coverage' to you. Then call CNA (if you bought your policy from NSO) or Liberty Mutual (if you bought your policy from ProLiability), tell them you are on active duty in the military, and ask them if your personal policy will provide first dollar coverage and a defense attorney to you if the United States of America is sued due to any nursing errors you commit as a member of the military. You could also print off my article and the comments thereto, give it to the risk manager or tort claims officer and ask if they disagree with any of it.

    If you follow my suggestions above, I think you will be very surprised at the answers you will hear. Let me know if I can answer any questions for you.
    I hate to tell you, but my friend is an ex JAG. Already been down that road.

    He completely disagrees. This isn't a military lawsuit I'm talking about. I'm talking about civilians suing - since active duty CAN'T. God bless the Feres Doctrine (sarcasm).

    I've already been named in one - and my documentation saved me because it was spot on. I consulted with the Area Defense Council, the MTF, and JAG as well. So yes, I'll stick to what I know.

close