Do Nurses Need Their Own Insurance?

One upon a time, a nurse or nurse practitioner went to work, performed their critically important duties, and never worried about lawsuits. But times have changed and lawsuits for medical malpractice are no longer confined to just doctors and physicians. Nurses are increasingly targeted by litigious patients, the lawsuits can be devastating both professionally and financially regardless of the defendant’s actual negligence.


Many nurse practitioners and registered nurses believe they are covered by their employer’s malpractice insurance policy. This is often false. In the event of a malpractice lawsuit the employer’s policy is just that, the employer’s policy. If a nurse is named in a lawsuit, even if they did nothing wrong, they might have to mount their own defense which can cost tens of thousands of dollars.  By purchasing a relatively inexpensive professional liability insurance policy, a nurse can have the peace of mind that their legal expenses will be covered, win or lose. In some cases a nurse can be sued by their employer when the employer loses a suit, the employer can sue the nurse for damages the employer paid on their behalf.

Professional liability insurance for nursing professionals pays reimbursement for lost wages, transportation costs, and other personal expenses that are incurred with a malpractice lawsuit. The insurance covers the nurse who is self-employed or employed and the coverage is portable, meaning it may cover you from job to job. Additionally, the policies provide protection in personal injury lawsuits resulting from a privacy violation, slander, libel, assault and battery, and other alleged injuries committed in the conduct of professional services.

Nursing liability insurance provides 24/7 protection, legal representation, and occurrence-based coverage which shields the client regardless of when a claim is filed, provided the policy was in force when the incident occurred. Coverage is offered to nursing students and even nurses who may want to moonlight or work part time. There are great rates and programs for all types of nursing professionals.

Most nurses would never neglect to carry insurance for their homes and automobiles. So why gamble with your livelihood. With the high cost of a lawsuit, nurses should do their homework and be well informed about nursing liability insurance especially those who work in areas that attract litigation such as nursing homes, critical care units, OB, and surgery. In most cases coverage costs less than a cup of coffee per day.

Coverage Cost – A Nurse Practitioner working in a Class 1 rate environment can have coverage limits of $500K/$1M with an Occurrence policy for less than $500 annually***

** Estimate only and the actual policy may be priced higher or lower depending on your application

The purpose of this article is to provide information, rather than advice or opinion.

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