A guide to purchasing nursing liability insurance

Nursing liability insurance protects a nursing practitioner from any legal charges against them. These actions could be taken by a patient or the state board of nursing. Regardless of their designation, everyone who is an RN, CNA, and LPN requires substantial insurance coverage. That said, one should consider a few things before getting their insurance. Read on to know more.

The importance of nursing liability insurance
Defending oneself against the claims of a lawsuit can be expensive. This is where nursing liability insurance comes into the picture. With a proper coverage plan, one can keep themselves from incurring exorbitant legal fees, losing their license, and much more. Additionally, one cannot rely solely on their employer’s policy as it may fail to protect them if their case doesn’t lie in the company’s interest.

Note: Liability insurance status is confidential information, and a prosecutor will not know about it unless they are informed.

Reasons why nurses get sued
It is a misconception that doctors are the only healthcare practitioners getting sued for malpractice or mishap. Nurses are often named in lawsuits, and failure to follow any of the following criteria can get a nurse in trouble:

  • Inability to provide the accepted standards of care
  • Failure to use medical equipment dutifully
  • Failing to assess a patient’s health or communicate their health status
  • Not acting in the patient’s interest

Types of insurance policies
There are two types of nursing liability insurance policies:

  • Claims-made
    This type offers coverage for incidents that happened during the policy period, which means an individual does not receive any support if they did not have insurance when the incident occurred and the claim was filed. That said, one can always opt for claims-made policies that come with extended coverage, known as a tail. It offers coverage for claims made for a few years even after the policy has expired.
  • Occurrence
    This type covers any incident that occurs during the insurance period, irrespective of when the claim is made. This means it doesn’t matter whether or not an individual has insurance now, as long as they had it when a particular incident occurred.

The coverage offered
One can evaluate the various nursing liability insurance plans available and select the best one for them. Nonetheless, most plans cover the following charges:

  • Legal
    An attorney’s legal fees and any other expenses necessary for proceedings and investigations are covered under nursing liability insurance.
  • Damage
    If held liable for the loss or damage of personal property at the workplace, one can claim insurance for repairs and replacement of the object.
  • License protection
    False claims may cost one their license, but nursing liability insurance helps them retain it by defending them from lawsuits and complaints to the nursing board.
  • Medical bills
    If a patient is injured in one’s presence or clinic, they may be held responsible for it. In case of such an event, the insurance will bear the cost of the medical bills, legal fees, and in fatal situations, even the funeral expenses.
  • Advertising accidents
    Mistakes like accidentally using a copyrighted slogan or campaign tend to happen when advertising healthcare businesses and services. In such cases, defamation, both written and spoken, and copyright infringement are covered by insurance.

The cost of nursing liability insurance
Nursing liability insurance costs differ depending on various factors, including the plan of choice, any extra coverage selected depending on one’s designation, the location, and other factors. Basic insurance policies start at prices as low as $100 per year and offer coverage of up to $1,000,000.

Tips for choosing the right plan
Here are a few tips to help one pick the correct nursing liability insurance plan:

  • Choose a reliable organization
    Several organizations may offer tempting deals, but it’s important to select a reputable and trustworthy provider. One can check out online reviews and even ask around to know more about their services and claims process.
  • Start early
    Starting early can be beneficial as nursing students can get discounts and special offers on policies after receiving their license. The annual premium costs are relatively low, which makes insurance affordable, even for students.
  • Do not rely on the organization’s insurance
    Many organizations offer insurance coverage to their staff, but relying on these policies is a mistake. This is because they may prioritize the welfare of the company over an employee.

Top companies for nursing liability insurance
Here’s a list of the top three insurers to pick from:

  • CM&F Group Inc.
    Thanks to CM&F, nurses can now get quotes and plans tailored to their individual needs. The company offers coverage for any services undertaken according to relevant state laws, ensuring precise safety in one’s practice. Plus, one can directly apply for a plan on the website and get coverage options for up to $2 million per claim.
  • Nursing Service Organization
    The Nursing Service Organization is one of the largest nursing liability insurance providers in the country. They offer plans for nursing professionals, students, and nursing organizations. One can get quick and easy quotes online, and they also have articles, videos, and newsletters to help applicants understand their services.
  • Healthcare Providers Service Organization (HPSO)
    With over 3 decades of experience in the industry, the HPSO has various nursing liability insurance plans for nurses, practitioners, and students. They also provide resources for risk education for healthcare professionals.