Malpractice Insurance?


  1. Should you carry your own insurance?

21 members have participated

hello all,

i am a new nurse (of 6 months) and i have been hearing different things about having your own . i hear that when people sue, they go after the staff involved with the most money. if you have your own insurance, they would supposedly "see" that and sue you for more. my hospital currently covers me but are there limitations on it? i have yet to find anyone that knows for sure, and if something should happen which would be extremely serious, is it best to carry your own?



124 Posts

Has 26 years experience.

I have always carried my own . First of all, until you call your own malpractice insurance for assistance, who has to know that you have the insurance? Second of all, most employers say that they cover you in a malpractice situation. However, if you make a very negligent mistake, and the employer is being sued and you are also being sued....who do you think the employer's lawyers are going to defend?

Say you work on a very busy med-surg floor. The order is to give a certain harmless medication, but you mistakenly give something else and the patient dies, or is harmed in a great way. The patient/family sue the hospital, and also name you in the lawsuit because you gave the wrong med. Hospital policy is NOT to give that med, you made a mistake...who is the hospital's lawyer going to be busy defending? I don't think it would be you because you didn't follow hospital procedure. You can say, "Well we were understaffed and it was just a mistake"... do you think you'll win? I think I'd rather have MY own attorney defending me in that case.

Malpractice insurance for most nurses is not very expensive, it allows me to sleep better at night, and it's tax deductible!

What if your neighbor comes over for advice because she knows your a nurse and you misdiagnose and tell her the wrong thing to treat her problem... She dies...her family sues....who will help defend you?


1,747 Posts

My nursing professor was also a defense attorney for nurses. She said ALWAYS carry your own insurance, in addition to whatever insurance your company pays for. The reason is that if the hospital attorney thinks she or he can limit the hospital's liability by "throwing you under the bus", they will do so. The example above of giving a medication that the hospital says it is not their policy to give is a perfect example. is CHEAP. Why take the chance that your employer's attorney will defend you as vigorously as your employer?


295 Posts

Specializes in Only the O.R. and proud of it!. Has 13 years experience.

I can't agree enough with comments 1 and 3. You having your own , I believe, is not discoverable. Never trust your employer to look out for your best interests especially if it conflicts with their best interests. Nursing insurance is not expensive. You can add it to your home or renters policy, or you can go through an independent nursing insurer, like NSO. I do not endorse NSO over any others, I just know the name. Nursing Insurance probably averages $85 to $120 per year. And it is law that they cover you under that policy even if you let it lapse or get another so long as you had an active policy at the time of the event. Many will advertise that like its some great benefit, but it's law.

VioletKaliLPN, LPN

1 Article; 449 Posts

if you have your own insurance, they would supposedly "see" that and sue you for more

no snarkiness, but how would they 'see' your insurance. no one knows i have insurance, i do not have a bumper sticker on my car nor do i talk about it. i have malpractice ins, i would not work without it. you need someone on your side 100%, and insurance offers that-and more.

their insurance may 'cover you'.. but... if you really screw up, they are not going to be on your side. your malpractice is on your side! they are your advocate.

Guest 360983

1 Article; 357 Posts

Some malpractice companies (like NSO, and I'm sure others) will also provide a lawyer if you have to go in front of the Board. Oh, but I'll never do something that bad, like diverting, you think! Actually, in my state (and I'm sure others), if you're ever fired from a job it must be reported to the Board and could result in you losing your license. Say the above issue with a medication error occurred--I'd want someone on my side in front of the BON.

I don't know the answer to the "They can see it!" assertation, but even if I get sued simply because I have insurance, well, that's why I have insurance.

Specializes in Hospice / Ambulatory Clinic. Has 3 years experience.

I was always taught that even if your company covers you to still hold and keep that information close to your chest. Also never to work for a company that requires you to hold your own instead of the company covering you.