All about Nursing Malpractice Insurance
What is Malpractice Insurance for Nurses?
Doctors, physicians, and other healthcare providers work in a fast-paced and high-stress environment. They are always at a high risk of a lawsuit or an allegation of negligence against them. In such circumstances, these professionals will have to incur expenses such as court costs, defense attorney fees, settlement costs, and other expenses. Not only this, the nurse may be terminated after an unexpected negative medical outcome. Here, Nursing Malpractice Insurance helps you and protects your financial future and career.
Myths Associated with Nursing Malpractice Insurance
We have debunked some common myths associated with malpractice insurance. Take a look.
1. Only physicians and doctors can get sued for malpractice
One of the biggest myths associated with nursing malpractice insurance is; physicians and doctors are sued more often than nurses. This trend has shifted nowadays, and the individual contribution of all members of the medical team is recognized in cases of malpractice. Therefore, nurses have an equal possibility of getting sued based on their omissions and acts.
2. Your chance of getting sued increases if you have your malpractice insurance
One thing you must keep in mind is; your insurance status is not public information. Whether you are insured or not can be discovered only after you are sued. Thus, the belief that the probability of getting sued if you are insured is entirely baseless.
3. A lawsuit can be filed against you only if you make a mistake
You can get sued only if you commit an error – this notion is absolutely incorrect. A patient, who has not suffered any loss but wants to win a settlement, can also file a lawsuit against you. And to get dismissed from the allegation, you will have to incur expenses. In this scenario, nursing malpractice insurance provides you financial security.
4. Your employer’s policy covers you
If you rely entirely on your employer’s policy, then you are making a mistake. Your employer has provided you malpractice insurance, but it might not adequately cover all of their risks. You may not be covered for a lawsuit that falls outside the scope of your job description and within policy exclusion. Moreover, the employer’s policy may not cover you if you are terminated or resign.
Do Nurses Need Malpractice Insurance?
All nurses must have their malpractice insurance due to the following reasons:
- It covers your expenses and attorney fees when you encounter disciplinary charges or investigation by your licensing board.
- The insurance company provides you with an attorney to represent your specific interests. Some companies also allow you an opportunity to choose your attorney.
- If you have your insurance policy as well, covered by your employer’s policy, both the insurance companies coordinate settlement or indemnity payments, allocation of claim costs, etc.
- Benefits that are not covered in employer’s policy such as license protection, property damage, first-aid expenses, assault, breach of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, etc.
- Some individual insurance covers risk management, continuing education credits, etc.
Things to Keep in Mind While Buying Nurse Practitioner Malpractice Insurance
1. Know the Financial Strength of the Insurance Carrier
Ensure that the carrier from which you are buying your nursing malpractice insurance is financially sound. You can assess the financial strength of the carrier by looking up at their ratings and grades provided by renowned rating agencies such as Moody’s, Standard & Poor’s, Kroll Bond Rating Agency (KBRA), Fitch, and AM Best. These agencies use their rating standards and scale.
2. Know the Nurse Liability Insurance Coverage Limit
You will find coverage limits written as $1,000,000/$1,000,000, $1,000,000/$3,000,000, $1,000,000/$5,000,000, etc. A $1,000,000/$3,000,000 limit infers that the insurer would be paid $1,000,000 on any one claim and the number of $1,000,000 claims that could be paid is 3, for a total yearly aggregate of $3,000,000.
3. Understand How Legal Costs are Treated
Ensure whether the legal cost is in addition to or within the limits of liability. For instance: you have a policy with a $1,000,000/$3,000,000 limit, including the legal fee. If you claim for $1,000,000 and the legal cost is $200,000, you will receive the liability coverage of only $800,000. Thus, it is very crucial to understand how legal costs are covered in the insurance policy.
Best Malpractice Insurance for Nurses
The following types of malpractice insurance are available for nurses:
The occurrence policy covers you for against “alleged incidents” that occur when the policy is/was in force, irrespective of when the claim is filed. In other words, if you filed the claim during the period when the policy was active, you will get a response even if you have currently canceled the policy.
The claims-made insurance policy covers you for against “alleged incidents” and responds to claims that are/were made only when the policy is/was active. In other words, you will get coverage as long as you pay premiums for the initial policy and any succeeding renewals.
How to Get Malpractice Insurance for Nurses?
Follow the below-given steps to obtain nurse practitioner malpractice insurance:
Step 1 – Choose Your Insurance Carrier
You can choose from the following insurance carriers:
- CM & F Group
CM & F Group is safeguarding the future of nurses by providing liability insurance since 1919. As of now, it insures more than 100,000 healthcare providers across the USA. All the products of this full-service insurance brokerage organization are online and fully automated.
- Healthcare Providers Service Organization
This organization is providing professional liability insurance to nurses and healthcare providers for more than 30 years. It has many insurance policies for healthcare professionals of different groups, both for business and individual coverage.
- Nursing Service Organization
With more than 500,000 insured nurse professionals under their name, Nursing Service Organization is fulfilling the insurance requirements of nurses for over 40 years. This organization has a specialization in providing professional liability insurance to nurses in independent practice, nursing schools, and nursing students.
Proliability is administered by Mercer Consumer and is providing medical malpractice insurance to healthcare associations, schools, and professionals for over 60 years. In addition to healthcare professionals, this carrier also offers coverage to business professionals. As of now, it has been working with over 50 professional and healthcare associations.
Step 2 – Obtain a Quote
Get a quote once after choosing your malpractice insurance carrier. The annual premium depends on the type of insurance policy (occurrence-type and claims-made), amount of coverage, and applicant’s profile. Most insurance carriers provide the facility to get automated quotes by generating online inquiries. You must get quotes from different carriers to identify the best insurance policy in accordance with your budget and requirements.
Step 3 – Apply for the Policy
After comparing different insurance policies and quotes, apply for the best one. Most insurance carriers allow you to submit an online application. In case of any doubt, the applicant can seek online clarifications and support for inquiries. Usually, the approval of coverage is granted within a week from the time of application.