As a nurse, your proximity to patients means you're legally responsible for what happens in your presence. Unfortunately, even when you're doing your best, dissatisfied patients may hold you liable for problems outside of your ability to control.
Nursing insurance provides coverage for claims that go beyond what your school or employer provides (including incidents they don't cover or that exceed their policy limits), allowing you to have a sense of security and perform your job with the confidence that comes from being protected. Common uses for this coverage include:
- Defendant expenses
- HIPAA fines or penalties
- License protection
- Lost wages
- Reimbursing patients for losses they may sustain while in your care
It is important to keep in mind that your workplace's insurance will not protect you from every problem that can occur. For example, if a complaint is filed with your local board of nursing and you need to fight it, you may be on your own unless you have individual insurance that can reimburse you for your expenses.
Nursing Malpractice Insurance
Even if you work in a practice, don’t assume that your employer’s coverage will provide all the protection you need. A medical lawsuit can cost millions of dollars. Whether you’re the only individual named in the case or part of a group, the coverage may not be adequate.
Do you know your company’s liability insurance limit? If you’re ordered to pay on a settlement, you may be looking at high out-of-pocket expenses if your employer’s coverage is limited. Private nursing malpractice insurance can help you if your employer’s coverage won’t pay or if you face an individual lawsuit.
In some cases, there are conflicting interests between the company defending itself and the company defending you. Ultimately, your employer's insurance has the company’s best interest in mind, and if providing coverage for you will hurt them, you may find that you’re without any form of insurance to cover legal defense fees and settlement amounts. Even if the lawsuit is thrown out of court, legal fees are very expensive.
You may need insurance of this type even if you are not a nurse, but are performing any of the tasks normally associated with nursing. This includes volunteering to help care for others, with or without a license. If you're unsure whether or not you need nursing insurance in your current situation, talk to one of our agents and find out for sure.