Malpractice insurance - page 3

I am a fourth year student in a BSN program. Today, in my leadership class we were discussing malpractice insurance. I am curious, how many RNs carry their own malpractice insurance? Why or why not?... Read More

  1. by   1hotnurse08
    NSO. I've had this insurance since I became a nurse.
  2. by   Hancock330
    I also carry malpractice insurance and have since I graduated in 1969. My thought process has always been that if a hospital had to choose between sacrificing a physician who brought millions of dollars of business a year to the hospital or one (or a few) cheap, easily replaced, RNs, that the RNs would be sacrificed. So, I wanted a lawyer from MY insurance company which, these days, would stand to lose a million dollars if I lost my fight, standing up for only me in a court room.

    Malpractice insurance for nurses in certain specialties is MUCH more expensive than the same insurance for nurses in med-surg settings. For L&D nurses -- since the courts have decided that children who may have experienced birth injuries have until age, I think, 19 to sue for malpractice, and since juries tend to feel very sorry for poor, injured children (even if the children's parents perceived the situation as something beyond the control of the care providers at the time), L&D nurses (and anyone else working in patient care in that setting) are at risk for being sued for decades after they leave that practice setting and at risk for being hit with a judgment for something over which they had no control. So, their premiums are higher, but they need the protection even more.

    Another reason to carry your own malpractice insurance is to cover you for the nursing advice you give away from your job. If you ever advise a neighbor on how to treat a fever, whether a laceration needs stitches or not, etc., you need malpractice insurance to cover you. No matter how careful you are to tell people to see a doctor or go to the ER if they don't get better, someone can "misremember" if things go wrong, and say you never told them what to do if things changed in a bad way. So, your own malpractice insurance will cover you in those kinds of situations. Mine also backs up my homeowners for injuries to others that might occur in or around my home, for instance.

    Finally, I don't know if it's still true or not, but there used to be 2 kinds of malpractice insurance. One was like car insurance -- you're only covered for as long as you pay that company premiums. The other covers you forever for anything that happened while you were paying premiums to that company. With that kind of coverage, if you change companies and then are notified that you're being sued over something that happened under your previous coverage, you're still covered by your previous company. Obviously, you want the second kind. I've always gotten mine through the ANA and my state nurses association.

    Now that I'm retired, I'll still keep the insurance as long as I'm inclined to keep my license active. You never know when you might need it for a day or two.
  3. by   Rose_Queen
    I first got my policy with NSO when I was hired 3 months before graduation. My hospital will even tell us that we're covered by their liability insurance, but I got my own because

    -I want someone looking out for me and only me
    -There are situations other than a hospital lawsuit that personal malpractice insurance will provide representation (such as BON hearings)
    -It's affordable (really, $108 for a whole year- stupidity not to take advantage of it)
    -What if a lawsuit is filed after I no longer work for the hospital? What assurance do I have that they will still cover me as a non-employee?
    -Peace of mind
  4. by   Nurse_
    Nurses, doctors and the facility can be sued from birth up until the child is 18 years old. That's why the insurance is expensive.
  5. by   missnurse01
    never had it
  6. by   EMEddie
    Great information. What exactly does this type of insurance cover in general?
  7. by   Rose_Queen
    Quote from EMEddie
    Great information. What exactly does this type of insurance cover in general?
    Depends on both the company and the state. NSO (Professional Liability Insurance for nurses, nursing medical malpractice.) will ask for your state and licensure level before giving a quote because coverage and limits can vary. The best way to find out what is covered is to get a quote. You aren't obligated to purchase the insurance just by asking for the quote.