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Get covered against errors resulting in bodily injury
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Nurses provide skilled care for patients, which can cause potentially damaging effects to your career if you are found at fault for harmful liability. With the medical advice and treatment you provide, there is a need for malpractice and other coverage to keep you safe if a patient believes you have caused further illness. There is also coverage for the automobile used for traveling nurses and other professionals on the road to patient care.
General Liability is a no-brainer for nurses. This type of nursing liability insurance covers a wide range of business risks ranging from property damage, personal damage and bodily injury. It is your safety net against slip and fall claims and other liability claims that could otherwise put a dent in your job as a nurse practitioner.
When you use your car for work, you need more than just personal auto insurance. Often your vehicle won't be insured when the insurance carrier determines that you're using your vehicle for business purposes. Commercial Auto provides physical damage and liability coverage for amounts and situations not covered by your personal auto policy.
When a nurse fails to completely perform medical duties, harming the patient, a medical malpractice lawsuit is likely. Even for nursing students. Medical Malpractice protects you from the liability associated with wrongful practices that result in bodily injury, medical expenses and property damage. It also pay for attorney fees and the cost of defending the lawsuit.
With their line of work, nurses can get sick or injured more often than any other job. This is why Workers' Compensation is important. This insurance will cover the nurses' medical bills and rehabilitation expenses if they get sick or injured on the job. The insurance also covers a portion of the lost wages until nurses are able to work again.
When you need additional coverage that your standard insurance won't cover, Umbrella Insurance is the best choice. The insurance works on top of your standard insurance, thereby adding more coverage and higher limits. It costs less, but the coverage is high, making it one of the most cost-effective forms of insurance available.
As a nurse practitioner, you need to make sure that the vehicle you operate is protected against accidents. There are times when you need to rent a vehicle or use a personal vehicle not included in your Commercial Auto insurance. Hired & Non-Owned Auto protects against the risks associated with driving a vehicle you rent or that is not owned by those who drive it.
Nurses can be sued at any time for any reason. Your employer's policy may cover you to some point, but these policies are made to protect the interest of the employer first. Carrying your own policy ensures that you have your own attorney who will be concerned with your interest and protect your needs as a nurse.
What about Professional Liability for Nurses?
Professional Liability is the same as nursing malpractice insurance and is arguably the most important insurance policy that you will purchase. Even if you work for an employer and they say they have malpractice insurance, you should never assume that it will cover you because every policy is different, and if there is a catastrophic event where multiple employees are implicated it is likely that the coverage limit they have will not be enough for everyone. If a lawsuit is filed and the limit on the practice’s policy is exhausted after a judgment or settlement is ordered, you will have to pay out of pocket without having Professional Liability. For most nurses, this will mean losing their home, car, and anything else that can be sold to pay the court’s decision. Another major reason to have malpractice insurance or Professional Liability is defense costs. Often, a lawsuit that is brought against a practice and nurse may cause a conflict of interest. If that is the case you will not have any access to their policy to pay for attorney fees and court costs. If you had your own policy, the conflict of interest will mean nothing and these very expensive defense costs would be paid for. Defense costs coverage is usually what pays back the premium ten-fold if you need to use the policy. While it may be frustrating to pay for insurance, it is a great investment in yourself and all the things you own, since those are ultimately at risk.
Nurse insurance is surprisingly affordable. Most insurance costs less than $100 per year. However, these rates will vary based on your location and the coverage amount. Another question you might ask yourself is, how much coverage do you need as a Nurse?
When you do decide to start shopping for malpractice insurance, and any other necessary insurance for nurses, you may wonder how much coverage is really needed. Unfortunately, there is no black and white answers as every case is going to be different but the standard and minimum recommended, coverage limit is $1,000,000 per occurrence. With your practice having insurance and hopefully coming to your rescue first you won’t need it, but as stated above there are cases where their policy will not pay so having the one million will at least give you some cushion to start out with. Keep in mind that between any settlements, judgments, and court costs this amount can dwindle quickly. You want to make sure that you aren’t paying for unnecessary coverage, but also that you are purchasing enough in case any unforeseen events do occur. When making the decision on the limit of coverage you need, consider what you do, where you work, what kind of services and treatments you provide, how long you have been doing the job, and how much coverage your employer has. For example, a nurse that specializes in rare diseases will have a higher risk than a general practitioner so it may be a good idea to double that standard limit to $2,000,000.
When a policy is under a shared limit, everyone is subject to that limit. Every insured individual has one master limit of annual coverage. If the master policy limit is reached early, there will be no coverage for the rest of the year. So, anyone who files a claim after that won't be covered because of the Shared Limit policy.
Yes. Because you are a student, you are still assisting with patient care. When you're providing any care there is a chance that you can make a mistake and you can be found legally liable. If you don't have individual Professional Liability coverage, you won't be able to survive the lawsuit.
In the medical field, insurance is often thought of as a coverage only doctors need. Investing in insurance means protection for yourself in case of an accident when caring for a patient. Though your employer has insurance, it does not protect nurses. Without insurance, you risk paying for liabilities and lawsuits and a defense attorney.
It is important as a nurse that you have the best insurance program in place since you are dealing with the public and helping to make them better. Although Nursing Malpractice insurance is probably the most important there are some other things to consider. Due to the severe amount of risks nurses face, it is a good idea to have all of the following policies for different scenarios that might arise.
General Liability – Whether your patients come to you or you go to their homes, General Liability insurance is a must-have. It covers those third-party claims of bodily injury and property damage. Now, when we say bodily injury, we don’t mean a mistake you make causes them injury but for those instances where they may trip and fall on your premises. For property damage, if you go to their home and damage something through the course of your work, that type of claim would be covered here as well.
Workers Compensation – If you have employees you should purchase Workers Compensation so that if they are injured or become ill due to their job and have to miss work, they can still collect a paycheck and have their medical bills paid. If you don’t have employees and instead work for a practice, you will want to make sure that they carry Workers Compensation so you can have peace of mind knowing if you suffer a work-related injury or illness you will still be able to pay your bills.
Commercial Auto – You probably haven’t heard of special car insurance for nurses, but using your vehicle for business can create issues with your Personal Auto insurance. Usually, the minute you start earning an income using your car they will deny any auto claims. So, if you are doing consulting, in-home nursing, or other careers that cause you to use your vehicle for business you should have Commercial Auto insurance. If you own the medical practice and have employees you will want this important coverage because it will give you Hired and Non-Owned Auto Liability which provides coverage for vehicles that are not yours. So, employee vehicles and rented vehicles that are in an accident and have a liability lawsuit that draws in the business.
Nurses face plenty of risks each day while doing their jobs. Nurses could risk exposure to bloodborne pathogens or work-related injuries from the back, hand, shoulders or feet. They could also be at risk of being sued for medical malpractice and other liabilities.
Here are some examples of cases in which you would be best served to have Medical Malpractice insurance or Professional Liability as a nurse.
Because nurse practitioners often have a lot of responsibility like diagnosing and treating patients, malpractice insurance is a no brainer. The next question is usually how much does it cost? While it is impossible to give a number with having no information about your unique situation, it is very affordable. Premiums will depend on where you practice, what you do if you have any claims history, and how many patients you see annually on average. The rates will also be affected by coverage limits and if you have a deductible.
CoverWallet provides an amazing resource for nurses to be able to easily and efficiently purchase malpractice insurance. Our online platform is user-friendly and you can quote and purchase this critical coverage in just minutes. If you get stuck or have questions, our website is filled with resources, as well as we have educated insurance advisors standing by.
Following rules and procedures is great risk management and definitely reduces your chance of being sued, but unfortunately does not take it away altogether. You can be the best nurse on the planet and still get sued and even if you did nothing wrong you will have to defend yourself. Whether an actual lawsuit is brought against you, or an official board of nursing complaint is lodged, it is going to cost you money to defend yourself and tell your side of the story. Lawyer fees alone can take an entire life’s savings and that is assuming you have savings. Regardless of how great of a nurse you are, or how long you have been a nurse and have not been sued or reported, it is better to be safe and have the insurance coverage if you need it than to not have it and be bankrupted.
But won’t having insurance make you a target for being sued?
While most patents may assume that you have Malpractice insurance, they can’t ask so unless you offer that information they will not know. Only until that first lawsuit is filed do they start to learn what providers have the coverage and which do not. Also, in the litigious society we live in most patients who decide to go ahead and sue their medical provider or team probably will not care if you have insurance or not. A patient who is truly harmed is not thinking about how you will pay for their medical bills or lawsuit expenses, but they are only concerned with making you pay.
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