Q: What About Exclusions Rights And Obligations Related To Professional Liability Policies
A: Regarding exclusions in the policy, many insurance policies will not cover criminal allegations against a nurse. They will not cover punitive damages, which are sometimes awarded above and beyond the actual damages the plaintiff is owed for particularly reckless or intentional conduct. They also will not cover any services performed that are outside the nurses scope of license.
The nurse also has rights and obligations under the policy. Theres usually a duty to notify the insurance company if there might be a suit or there is a suit filed. Theres a duty to cooperate with the insurance company by providing documents, if requested, and assisting with the defense.
The insurers obligations include a duty to defend, a duty to notify the policyholder of any policy changes, and a duty to pay out expenses and judgments that are covered by the policy.
Cons Of Personal Liability Insurance
While personal liability insurance can be helpful, it may not be the best choice for everyone. One of the main deterrences of personal liability insurance is cost. Although costs vary, if it’s not in your budget, then you may opt out of carrying insurance. Some nurses also have additional medical malpractice insurances, which can get pricey. Other cons include:
What Is Nursing Malpractice Insurance
Nursing malpractice insurance is protection from lawsuits should a nurse fail in one of their responsibilities, including, but not limited to:
- Properly monitoring a patient,
- Recognizing signs of a change in the patients condition,
- Talking with a patients primary care physician, and
- Sending a patient out for emergency care.
If sued, you could be responsible for paying $500,000 on average, according to True Cost of Health Care, but there is no limit to what an individual claim may be rewarded.
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Do I Need Nursing Malpractice Insurance
Even if you work in a practice, dont assume that your employers coverage will provide all the protection you need. A medical lawsuit can cost millions of dollars. Whether youre the only individual named in the case or part of a group, the coverage may not be adequate.
Do you know your companys liability insurance limit? If youre ordered to pay on a settlement, you may be looking at high out-of-pocket expenses if your employers coverage is limited. Private nursing malpractice insurance can help you if your employers coverage wont 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 companys best interest in mind, and if providing coverage for you will hurt them, you may find that youre 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 Look Guilty If You Have Liability Insurance
Your liability insurance status is not public information. Let me repeat that for everyone in the back, NOT PUBLIC INFORMATION.
There is no way for a plaintiff to know if you are a good money target. During discovery, the information will become available. But at that point, you are already named and your role in a specific incident is going to be scrutinized.
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How Is Medical Malpractice Insurance Different From Professional Liability Insurance
Weve covered professional liability insurance in previous articles. To be brief, professional liability insurance protects you from lawsuits with monetary damages being claimed. A very quick illustration of this would be if a nurse suggests to a patient that they drink more milk without knowing that they are lactose intolerant. That patient is going to be discomfited after drinking milk, and may need follow up visits to their primary care doctors, but no serious harm should come to them.
Medical malpractice insurance, on the other hand, is a more specialized version of professional liability insurance. It protects medical professionals like doctors from being held liable for disputed services rendered that led to a patient being injured or killed. The Insurance Information Institute reports that every doctor will be sued at least once for medical malpractice over their career. Nurses work closely with doctors, so it is required that they have malpractice insurance before starting their career as well.
What Type Of Insurance Do Nurses Need
Unfortunately, we live in a very litigious society. Those in the medical profession are especially prone to lawsuits and legal action taken against them. In many cases, the loss or injury of a family member results in a demand for retribution. Nurses are human they can make errors, but can also fail in an action that would be considered neglect.
“Malpractice” means that the healthcare professional has deviated from professional standards of care or practice which may or may not have resulted in injury or death. Many employers offer some type of malpractice insurance for nurses. However, the coverage may not be enough to protect the nurse. Employers look after the company first, protecting themselves and their assets. There may be a cap in coverage, and the nurse would need to cover any additional costs or fees associated with an action taken against them.
Not only could a nurse be open to financial responsibility related to a legal case, but the nurse may be open to termination after an unexpected event. Private malpractice insurance often covers discipline and licensing issues that may arise.
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Your Employers Policy Covers You
First and foremost an employers policy is there to cover their behind. If it is not in their best interest to protect you, they may leave you high and dry.
Have you seen or requested a copy of their policy? It may include gaps or exclusions you are not aware of. Im pretty sure I dont know any nurses that have ever asked to review an employers policy .
In the event you are covered by an employers policy, you may not have a choice about who represents you. Under a personal policy, you work independently with an attorney who is assigned to your cause.
Employer policies also have policy limits, you might be stuck shouldering unexpected out of pocket expenses.
If you leave your role before a lawsuit is filed, you may not be covered by your employer anymore. Many lawsuits are filed a year or more after the fact. Personal liability insurance can move with you and is not dependent upon your employer.
Your employer policy does not cover you outside of work. If you do any type of volunteer work, offer assistance to neighbors, provide first aid, or respond to the scene of an accident you can be held responsible for your actions. Personal liability insurance covers you 24 hours a day, not just while you are at work.
Malpractice Insurance For Counselors: What You Need To Know
Therapists face numerous ethical conundrums each daywhen to warn a third party of a potential threat, what level of suspicion warrants a report to child protective services, and how to manage clients at risk of suicide.
Many of these challenges also present legal hurdles. A therapist who fails to meet the standard of care may be legally liable for that failure if the client suffers specific harm. For example, a therapist who did not adequately treat a credible threat of suicide might face a lawsuit from a client who suffers serious injuries in a suicide attempt.
While good therapists endeavor to protect their clients and avoid lapses in judgment, therapists are human beings who can and will make mistakes. Malpractice insurance protects you and your business if you are sued. It is a type of professional liability insurance, but it may not cover all lawsuits.
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Home Health Aide Professional Liability Insurance Benefits
- Coverage Options up to $2 Million per Claim
- Full Consent to Settle Claims
- Telemedicine/Telehealth Coverage
- Defense Costs in Addition to Liability Limits
- Sexual Misconduct Defense
- HIPAA Defense Coverage
- QuoteView coverage options and make sure the price fits your budget.
- ApplyAccess your quote, finalize your options and purchase coverage
- Access your proof of coverage to share or download, instantly.
Malpractice Insurance Coverage Basics
Nurses can have claims filed against them for a number of reasons. Some of the most common include:
Failing to assess a patient properly
Failing to escalate important information about patients
Failing to stay within the scope of practice
Fulfilling an order that contains an error
Not following orders as prescribed
A nurses malpractice insurance provides payment to claimants rather than advancing the claim further to a possible trial. Avoiding costly litigation benefits the practitioner, the claimant, and the insurance company. The average nurses malpractice claim is $164,586 the average cost to purchase a plan is about $35 per month.
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How To Pick The Right Coverage For You
To pick the right insurance coverage, do your research. You don’t want to pay for coverage that may not be right for you. Ask other nurses which policies they hold and how happy they are with it. To get a policy, most insurance companies will give you a quote, then allow you to pick a policy online or over the phone.
According to NSO, the majority of claims resolve for less than $100,000. But 3.1% of claims are paid the total policy limit of $1 million. How much you pay monthly or annually for personal liability insurance varies by insurance company and state.
No one wants to get sued, but it is better to be prepared if it happens. Being sued doesn’t only happen to new nurses either. According to NSO, experienced nurses are more likely to be sued than new nurses. I see personal liability insurance as getting it and then forgetting about it. Just remember to renew when the policy has expired.
How Much Does Nursing
How much your Nursing Liability Insurance policy costs depends on several factors, such as:
- Years of experience
- Level of education or training
Weve partnered with Canadas largest insurance companies to provide the most competitive Nursing Liability Insurance rates for you.
To find out how much Nurse Malpractice Insurance can cost for you simply click on the button below:
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Q: What Type Of Coverage Should Individual Professional Liability Insurance Include And How Can Nurses Assure It Covers Them Adequately
A: There are several different factors a nurse should consider if theyre going to purchase their own malpractice insurance.
The first thing to consider would be the type of policy theyd want to have in other words, whether youd want a claims-made policy or an occurrence policy.
A claims-made policy will only cover a claim that is made while the insurance policy is in effect. So, if a suit gets filed after the nurse leaves an employer, it isnt going to be covered because the claim wasnt filed when the policy was in effect. An occurrence policy is less complicated, but theyre more expensive, because they cover a claim so long as the alleged injury arose during a period of time that the policy was in effect. Thats very important to look at.
The other issue is the amount of coverage the nurse will need.
The limit of liability is how much a policy will pay for a settlement or judgment that results from a claim. The best rule of thumb is to ensure that you have limits that are consistent with others in your profession and in your region.
Another feature to look for is if the nurse has a say in whether the case settles rather than going to trial. In employer policies, this authority would not be included.
Open lines of communication with the insurance representative helps to ensure peace of mind and adequate coverage for his or her particular area of practice.
What Malpractice Insurance Offers
Malpractice coverage offers extensive protection if you are sued. Every policy is different, but in general you will get:
- Legal help. Your insurer will make sure you are represented by a lawyer who understands malpractice laws in your state. This ensures a zealous defense and increases the likelihood that a frivolous lawsuit will promptly be dismissed.
- Interventions to prevent lawsuits. If a client threatens a lawsuit, your insurer may intervene before the suit is filed. They can send letters on your behalf and begin devising a strategy to protect you and your practice.
- Payment for the cost of lawsuits. Youll be covered up to the policy limits for any lawsuits that fall within your policy, meaning you dont have to worry about a settlement or jury verdict bankrupting you or your practice.
The benefits of malpractice insurance include:
- Less time spent worrying about lawsuits. When you have coverage, you know youre protected if you make a mistake or a client makes an unfair threat.
- The security that comes from having a good lawyer. If youre sued, its hard to know whom to hire. Malpractice insurers select an exceptional lawyer on your behalf.
- Help with licensing board complaints. Many malpractice insurers will also represent you before licensing boards.
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Myth #: My Professional License Is A Legal Right
REALITY: Unlike a constitutionally protected right, having a professional license is a revocable privilege. A privilege does grant due process, but your license must be properly maintained. If you are sued, and cannot prove your case, your state licensing agency can institute disciplinary measures. The Board of Nursing retains jurisdiction for your license, even if the registration has lapsed. Any legal action requires the skill of an attorney, and the cost of retaining/regaining your license can be incredibly expensive without professional liability coverage.
How Much Does It Cost
As there are many responsibilities that nurses may have, the insurance costs for nursing liability will vary depending on many factors.
Below are the following factors that are typically taken into consideration when determining the cost of your premium:
- Years of experience
- Cosmetic procedures involvement
- Individual or Group Clinic coverage
Well make sure you get a price thats right for you. Weve partnered with over fifty insurance providers to offer you a variety of options to suit your business needs at the best price.
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Exclusions From Typical Coverage
Typical exclusions in a medical malpractice policy include a variety of claims that hinge on dishonesty, sexual misconduct, or illegal acts. Typical exclusion provisions will include a refusal to pay for sexual harrasment claims from patients, claims that resulted from reckless disregard on the part of the practitioner, and various hospital administration issues.
If a claim is filed because of any mistakes or errors made by the hospital administration or staff, the injured party should file a malpractice claim against the hospitals insurance, not the individual provider.
What You Need To Know About Professional Liability Insurance For Counselors
Professional liability insurance is insurance that protects against lawsuits by providing you with a lawyer and funding the costs of the suit. Therapist malpractice insurance is one type of professional liability insurance, but it is not the only type. You may still need a general liability policy that covers other risks of doing business. A general professional liability policy may cover injuries you or a client sustain at your practice, including medical bills, lawsuits, replacing property, and other expenses. Malpractice coverage only covers malpracticenot other injuries. You should review the policy documents of your insurance policy so you know whats included and whats not.
Myth #: I Wont Be Sued If Im A Good Nurse
REALITY: No matter how you try, or how long you practice, perfection as a nurse is impossible. At some point, every nurse will make a mistake thankfully, most cause no harm. If you are ever named in a medical lawsuit, you are required to defend yourself against the allegations, even if they are false or have no merit. This means hiring legal defense to represent you. Without professional liability insurance, you face overwhelming expenses that must be paid. The average attorney fees to defend a malpractice claim for a nurse is $37,084.
What Is Personal Liability Insurance
Personal liability insurance can help you financially if you are sued by a patient or their family. It is a type of insurance that protects you from claims brought against you and the service you provide as a nurse.
According to the Nurses Service Organization , the average cost of a nurse’s malpractice claim is $201,916. Some states require nurses to carry personal liability insurance, but for the most part, it is a personal decision.
Personal liability insurance can also be referred to as:
- Medical malpractice insurance
- Errors and omissions insurance
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Q: Does Having Individual Professional Liability Coverage Help Nurses In Disciplinary Cases With Boards Of Nursing
A: Yes. They are the named insured. One of the biggest things that an individual policy provides a nurse that an employer policy does not is a defense against board investigations. That means for the price of the policy, you are getting an attorney to represent you. This is a major benefit. Disciplinary proceedings are costly, especially if the case goes to a hearing, and can drag on for a long period of time.
In the years that Ive been doing defense work in professional liability actions, I would say only half of the nurses Ive represented had their own liability policy. Others did not, so all costs as a result of the proceedings, including attorney fees, came out of their own pockets.