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Liability Insurance FAQ
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Nursing Liability Insurance

Nursing liability insurance is coverage that license-holding nurses purchase for protection if malpractice lawsuits are filed against them. Not all nurses carry this insurance, nor is it required by state law in every state. Many employers require nurses to carry this insurance to even obtain employment. Other employers may offer their own malpractice coverage for nurses. Usually large institutions, such as hospitals or schools, provide their own coverage.

This coverage varies in price, depending on the nurse's status, the field of work and the insurance company. Most providers offer coverage that is detailed, allowing nurses more specific provisions. For example, nurse practitioners who perform the same tasks as doctors usually have higher insurance rates for their field of work. A registered nurse who doesn't work in direct care with patients, but works in an office instead, is likely to have a lower rate. State regulations also play an important role in deciding provisions and costs.

Nursing Liability Insurance - Features

Some common things that nursing liability insurance covers include depositions, time off from work resulting from suspension or court proceedings, travel costs, property damage, personal injury and litigation fees. Most policies are not this broad in defining what they cover and each of the previously mentioned items may have exclusions and exceptions. For example, travel expense coverage may have a limit of $500 with one company and $2,000 with another.

Another important coverage that nurses should always look for in liability insurance is license protection. This coverage will ensure that a nurse's license isn't suspended or revoked during the litigation process. In some cases, it may be possible to prevent this, but in cases where solid proof doesn't exist, it is usually a very beneficial provision. Rates are much less than a physician's. Some of the best companies offer policies between $100 and $200 per year.

Nursing Liability Insurance - What You Should Know

Nursing students must also purchase liability insurance. There are special policies especially for students. It is best to purchase this coverage, even if the school has insurance. Sometimes the school's insurance isn't sufficient. There is a common misconception that having liability insurance increases the risk of attracting a lawsuit. Patients don't know who does or doesn't have insurance, so this isn't true.

Nursing professionals should always have nursing liability insurance. It is much better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it. Another important thing for hospital nurses to remember is that their employer's insurance may not be sufficient. It is best to review their policy and the purchase and additional personal nursing liability coverage if needed. Hospitals have the highest occurrence of malpractice lawsuits, so this is important.