Do you need nursing malpractice insurance?
Many surgeons and physicians carry professional liability insurance, and nurses need nursing liability insurance as well.
Whether you work for a private practice or a hospital, your employer’s insurance might not protect you. A lawsuit could be extremely expensive and if you are named individually in a lawsuit, the employer insurance might not cover you. Your employer insurance could also be limited leaving you with large out of pocket costs. Not to forget that in some cases, the employer and the nurse could have conflicting interests within the same lawsuit. If a lawsuit involves an employer being negligent towards the employees leading to a malpractice case, the employer would protect their interest first and foremost.
Purchasing nurse malpractice insurance is not required by law and therefore most nurses don’t think about it as an option to protect their assets leading some nurses to even believe that if they purchase malpractice insurance when suggested to think that they will now a bigger target for lawsuit. Some nurses of course truly believe they are great at their jobs, they do not make mistakes and therefore they have no need for individual insurance. However, being sued does not always mean you are wrong. Innocent people need to defend themselves as well.
How much liability insurance you need to purchase depends on several factors: Where you work, the services you facilitate, your years of experience, the coverage your employer already facilitates … but it’s a good idea to purchase at least $1 million in coverage per occurrence which would eliminate the gap between employer coverage and personal coverage. You may also want to research your employer’s policy to make sure there are no major coverage gaps you don’t know about. The individual liability insurance amounts apply based on per incident and aggregate amount. If you need to know just how much insurance you should purchase, speak with an independent agent who can help you assess your personal insurance needs.
You can purchase one of two types of nurse liability insurance:
- Nurse Practitioner Insurance: NPs usually have a wide range of responsibilities as they facilitate care for their patients from diagnosis to treatment and medication. they are also in charge of referrals. They could be working in hospitals or private practices and urgent care clinics. However, they are limited in their scope and must consult with the primary physician and if they fail to do so, they could face serious consequences.
- Registered Nurse Insurance: RNs are often responsible for administering medications to patients and documenting the process for safety. This fact itself puts them at a high risk for lawsuits in case these medications are not administered properly and/or not documented as required. If a patient has any bad reaction to the dose or suffers an overdose, RNs could be named individually in a lawsuit and individual insurance could help cover the legal defense costs and the settlement if any.
The biggest question of course that most nurses ask if about the cost. How expensive is nursing liability insurance? Nurse malpractice insurance is surprisingly affordable. Years of experience and training certificates help make it even more affordable with the discounts available for experienced nurses with extensive training.