While it may be true that an employer often carries sufficient insurance for nurses on their staff, it would be wise to advise nurses to ask just how much it will provide and what it applies to. If negligence is involved, the employer could sue a nurse for any monies paid in his or her defense. This is a prime example of why purchasing malpractice insurance for nurses is a good idea for any practicing clinician. After all, an abundance of coverage can be better than too little.
Professional liability insurance typically pays for a defense attorney and any settlement or judgment against the nurse, up to the policy limits. Also, depending on the policy, it will often cover licensure defense, when the nurse is reported to the board of nursing. People will often abstain from buying malpractice insurance, which is why brokers should make their insureds aware of the risks they may face. Another good reason that nurses should carry personal insurance as well is because they often move from job to job.
Nurses working independently need coverage as well
Clinicians also need malpractice insurance for nurses for duties taking place outside their workplace, for instance, if they do volunteer work. They should make sure their policy would cover them in those scenarios. While free clinics may offer sovereign immunity, someone can still decide to sue, and the nurse will likely need a lawyer to help with the defense process.
Nurses provide an invaluable service and work long and hard in order to achieve success in their careers by providing quality care to patients. However, all it takes is one lawsuit to place that career in jeopardy, and this could possibly place their financial future at risk as well.
The risk of being named in a malpractice lawsuit is a real concern and shouldn’t be dismissed or overlooked, since the results from such a lawsuit can bring financial ruin. Many nurses have unfortunately learned the hard way that they cannot always rely on their employers for professional liability coverage since their employers’ insurance may not actually provide enough coverage, and in certain situations, it may not cover them at all.