Nurses and Insurance Considerations

Nurses and Insurance Considerations

May 06, 2022

Being a nurse comes with many challenges, both in their profession and everyday life. Nurses should consider their need for insurance a bit more carefully than some other professions. In today's society, lawsuits are prevalent, and unfortunately, the medical industry is one of the main areas under attack from these suits. Yet, malpractice insurance is not the only insurance consideration nurses have to worry about. 

Travel Health Insurance

If you are a nurse that travels, you may need more versatile insurance policies. Many travel nursing agencies provide insurance at a reasonable cost, but that insurance often only applies when you are on the job, which may leave you vulnerable when you are in between assignments.1

While it may be worth taking advantage of the agency-provided coverage, it is often advisable for nurses to carry their own insurance coverage as well. This may help provide reassurance during their time off assignments.1

Malpractice Coverage

Nurses may also need to consider the value of malpractice insurance. This may be valuable in situations where a patient you care for files a lawsuit. You may be open to possible financial responsibility related to a lawsuit and may even face termination as a result of the event, depending on the circumstances. Malpractice coverage is designed to not only cover the costs associated with the legal case but also with discipline and possible licensing issues that may result.2

Occurrence-Based Versus Claims Coverage

Nurses may want to give serious consideration to occurrence-based malpractice coverage over claims-based coverage as the former may cover you no matter where you work and may provide coverage into retirement. In contrast, the latter only offers protection during the life of the policy at the location named in the policy. The one drawback is that occurrence-based may be more costly.2

What Does Malpractice Insurance Cover?

Malpractice insurance typically covers most of the costs associated with a lawsuit. This may include items such as:

  • Legal fees
  • Attorney fees
  • Medical damages
  • Arbitration costs
  • Compensatory damages
  • Punitive damages2

Liability Coverage

In addition to malpractice coverage, nurses may also need to consider liability coverage. Liability coverage is there to provide you with protection when things go wrong. If your hospital offers malpractice insurance, you may want to get your own personal liability coverage to provide you with added protection.2

Having liability coverage in your name can help provide confidence that you, as an entity, are covered. This means you have an insurer that works in your interest, not your employer's. Some employer policies do not cover direct complaints, which could leave you vulnerable in a lawsuit. Individual liability policies may provide you with protection in cases related to alleged:

  • Assault
  • Libel
  • Slander
  • Accountability Act violations2

It may also offer protection during depositions and when issues determining your license arise from lawsuits. Choosing appropriate coverage may help protect yourself and your professional life from possible litigation. 


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Important Disclosures

The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.

All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however LPL Financial makes no representation as to its completeness or accuracy.

This article was prepared by WriterAccess.

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