Medical malpractice insurance isn't just for physicians and surgeons, for nurses also can be named in malpractice liability suits. Purchasing nursing malpractice insurance is one way that nurses in Massachusetts can help protect themselves from this potential risk.
Nursing malpractice insurance is a specialized professional liability insurance that’s uniquely designed to help protect nurses. Since this is such a specialized coverage, nurses generally should work with an insurance agent who’s familiar with this particular type of coverage when selecting a policy.
Most nurses working in Massachusetts can benefit from the protections that nurse insurance provides. Nurses at all levels may want to consider purchasing this coverage, including:
Moreover, nurses may need coverage regardless of their academic degree, specialty or work environment. Emergency room, intensive care unit and cardiac nurses might all need coverage, as may nurses who work in assisted living facilities, doctors offices, clinics or almost any other setting.
Whether nurses can rely on an employer’s coverage is a complex question that depends on multiple factors. The employer’s coverage and the type of employment both may come into play.
Nurses who are salaried employees often do receive nursing malpractice coverage through their employer, although there can be limitations to how much protection this provides.
First, an employer’s limits may leave a nurse with little protection if there’s a large claim filed against the employer and multiple people. Should the limit be reached before the nurse’s claim is paid, the nurse could face substantial out-of-pocket expenses. Second, an employer’s coverage usually will only extend to work that’s done for the employer and not any side gigs.
Second, nurses who work as independent contractors can still receive coverage from their hiring organization, but they sometimes are less likely to receive coverage. If coverage is provided, the same potential coverage concerns related to limited protection exist.
Because employers don’t always provide coverage and there are potential concerns even when they do, nurses may want to purchase their own nurse insurance policy. An insurance agent who’s familiar with these policies can help evaluate a particular situation and make an informed recommendation as to whether purchasing a policy makes sense.
Sometimes nurses mistakenly believe that simply carrying nurse insurance can increase the likelihood of a liability lawsuit. This generally isn’t true, however.
Whether a nurse carries liability insurance is normally considered confidential, so patients usually won’t know that a nurse has their own policy unless the nurse divulges that information. In many cases, patients who have malpractice claims don’t know who has individual coverage until a lawsuit is filed.
How much liability coverage nurses should purchase depends on multiple factors, not the least of which is their own risk tolerance. Other factors that ought to be taken into consideration when considering different limits are where a nurse works, what care they provide, the length of their tenure and the amount of employer-provided coverage (if any).
An insurance agent can help sort through the many factors so that nurses can arrive at a coverage amount that makes sense for their situation.
If you need help finding nursing malpractice insurance, contact the independent insurance agents at Roger Keith & Sons Insurance. Our Massachusetts agents can help you compare policies from several insurers in the state, and we’ll work with you to identify which policy option best meets your needs.