Should a Nurse Carry Malpractice (Liability) Insurance?
This question comes up frequently and is asked quite often by nurses, "Should I carry malpractice insurance?" Many nurses are covered under their own individual liability insurance carrier. Many more are not. I am.......... are you??
Nurses can be sued at any time, for any reason. Often, allegations brought against you are unfounded, but just being named in a lawsuit gives one pause and can be one of the most stressful times in your life. The nurse feels embarrassed and fears damage to a perfect reputation.
Your employer's policy may cover you, but only up to a point. Remember: Your employer's policy is created to fit their specific needs and protects them first.
You may even be told (by your employer HR) that you do not need your own policy. What they do not tell you is that they want you to be represented by their attorneys. They do not want "outside" representation for they know that their best interests will not be first and foremost. Carrying your own policy will ensure you personal attorney representation when you need it and this attorney will be concerned with only protecting YOUR needs and YOUR best interests.
All malpractice insurance policies have limits of liability. If you are only covered by your employer's insurance, other defendants employed at your entity may and probably do share your liability limits under the same policy. If you as well as others are named in a suit, your legal costs, including any settlement, could exceed your employer's shared liability limits. This would mean out-of-pocket expenses for you!!
The following are a few individual carriers:
Nurses Service Organization (NSO) - www.nso.com - #1 carrier for Nurses with free online quotes
Marsh Affinity - www.proliability.com
www.seaburychicago.com - not in all States
Liability insurance can also be purchased through CNA by going to the American Nurses Association website - www.nursingworld.org
And, some Home Owners insurance policies will have stipulations for liability insurance.
It is up to the individual nurse how much liability to carry. $1,000,000/$6,000,000 coverage premiums are approximately $90/year in most States for the RN and $90/year for the LPN - NSO.
Another benefit of carrying individual coverage which extends beyond your employer's limits:
Many Carriers reimburse you up to a certain amount if you are defending disciplinary charges with your Board of Nursing (BON).
And, many policies also address the following (not all inclusive):
charges of confidentiality violation
assault on the job
So, do you carry your own individual liability insurance??
Small price to pay for peace of mind...