ANSWER: Yes, it is important to protect you and your assets as a nurse because you may get sued at any given point in your career.*
According to the Nurses Service Organization, here are the two most frequently asked questions:
1. Does having my own malpractice liability insurance make me more of a likely target for lawsuits?
ANSWER: No, having your own malpractice liability insurance coverage does not make you more of a likely target for a lawsuit. The question you may want to ask yourself is “What if I don’t have enough coverage and I’m sued?”
In a lawsuit involving malpractice, everyone that was involved with the patient’s well being will be named, whether or not the individual has coverage. Having malpractice liability insurance will protect ones finances and career by covering the defense and settlement costs.
The status of your insurance is also unknown to the plaintiff’s attorney, well after you are named in the lawsuit and your insurer cannot release information regarding your status without your written consent. Therefore, no one will know whether you have insurance or not and cannot attack you because of it.
2. Won’t having my employer’s insurance coverage be enough protection for me?
ANSWER: Malpractice liability insurance protects you from lawsuits involving damages from negligence or harmful errors. Your employer’s healthcare may provide some coverage, but in most cases will not be enough to include costs from defenses, off-duty suits, and various of other damages from the lawsuit. Their insurance is designed to protect them first, while paying a price that is attractive to them, usually leaving weak coverage for their employees. Having individual coverage will provide a peace of mind that you are protected from any lawsuits that may come your way on or off-duty, whether it is your fault or not.
Malpractice liability requires a lot of research to figure out if it is the right protection for you, your career, and your financial assets. The insurance premium may be a small cost to pay in order to protect yourself from a future financial disaster.
*This information is a guide only, it is not legal or financial advice. Always do due diligence to ensure you are not breaking the law.