Today, comprehensive nursing insurance has become crucial for all nurses.
Despite the quality of healthcare services, nurses, allied healthcare providers, and physicians are always at risk. You’ve built your career as a nurse helping patients and your community. However, all that hard work could go to waste if you find yourself in a lawsuit. Also, legal expenses can be costly.
Therefore, you need proper nursing insurance coverages to protect yourself from the risks of the healthcare industry.
What kind of policies do nurses need?
Most healthcare professionals are woefully unprepared for a medical malpractice lawsuit. A Medscape survey of over 4000 physicians in 2017 found that almost 58% of healthcare professionals were shocked by the trial they faced.
Usually, your employer will provide you with professional nursing insurance. However, nurses cannot always rely on coverage employers provide in situations where their reputation is at stake. Hence, having proper medical malpractice coverage is crucial when you risk facing frivolous lawsuits. A proper medical malpractice insurance policy protects nurses from claims related to:
- Incorrect diagnosis or poor advice: An incorrect diagnosis can mean the correct medication or treatment in not prescribed to treat the illness successfully. Therefore, the patient can suffer from worsening conditions, sometimes to the point of a disability or death. As a result, this can lead to a medical malpractice lawsuit.
- Accusations of negligence: If a qualified healthcare provider infringes their duty to the patient to exercise reasonable care in the provision of health care resulting in harm to the patient, the professional can be held accountable on the grounds of medical malpractice.
General Liability Insurance:
Regardless of whether you are a nurse, doctor, or any healthcare professional, you always face risks when a patient walks into your practice. Suppose someone spilled coffee in your clinic, and a patient steps on it and slips. This results in a dislocated shoulder. Hence, they then file a claim against you for the injury.
- Patient and visitor injuries
- Patient and visitor property damage
- Advertising injury
You may find yourself in need of general healthcare liability insurance if you practice medicine in a physical location other than the hospital.
Usually, these policies provide adequate coverages for nurses and some healthcare professionals. However, it is a good idea to look into over coverages as well. After all, coverage differs from business to business. Therefore, professions that may find the need for comprehensive insurance for medical professionals include:
- Paramedics, and other licensed health professionals.
Cyber Liability Insurance:
The healthcare industry is often a victim of cyberattacks. Your practice is at the risk of facing potential data breaches, reputation damage, and loss of productivity. According to Radware‘s 2018-2019 Global Application & Network Security Report, the average cost for recovery from cyberattacks amounts to a whopping $1.4 million.
You need to make sure that you have cyber liability insurance to secure yourself and your practice from potential losses and advertisement expense. The American Journal of Managed Care also found that hospitals spent 64% more on advertising costs after suffering from data breaches. Therefore, cyber liability insurance offers two types of coverage to healthcare professionals:
- First-party cyber liability insurance:
The first-party cyber liability insurance provides coverage to your practice to mitigate the impacts of data breaches and cyber-attacks. It covers costs for:
- Customer notification expense
- Cyber extortion payments
- Customer fraud and credit monitoring services
- Business interruption expenses
- PR and crisis management
- Third-party cyber liability insurance:
Third-party cyber liability insurance provides liability coverage when your medical practice, which is responsible for your client’s online security, suffers from an online attack. It includes coverage for:
- Legal defense costs
- Settlements costs
- Other court costs
Business Owners Policy:
Running a practice is never free of risks. From a patient’s injury to damage to your medical equipment, the chances of mishaps always exist. If you are running your private practice, you should consider a business owners policy (BOP).
BOP bundles commercial property insurance, business interruption insurance and general liability insurance, usually at lower rates, to cover risks that can occur in your workplace. Therefore, this policy covers some of the most critical areas of concern for healthcare workers in private practice.
BOP provides coverages for:
- Damage to business property
- Patient injuries and property damage
- Advertising injuries
- Forced closure
Workers Compensation Insurance:
According to the Washington Post, being a nurse is more dangerous than being a correctional officer. Despite all the safety measures you take in the workplace, you cannot always guarantee a safe working environment for your employees. Hence, healthcare professionals are still at the risk of being exposed to severe injuries or illnesses in the workplace.
Occupational Safety and Health Administration also pointed out that a healthcare worker faces more risks of workplace violence. Healthcare workers are always exposed to the dangers of being yelled at, spat at, kicked, scratched, or even stabbed.
Workers compensation insurance is regulated at a state level. Each state has its own requirements and penalties. If you run your practice outside of Texas, this coverage is not optional. Failure in meeting mandatory state worker‘s compensation requirements will put you in the receiving end of legal consequences.
The policy covers costs related to:
- Immediate medical costs
- Ongoing medical costs
- Partial lost wages
Commercial Auto Insurance:
Healthcare practices use various kinds of vehicles, ranging from regular cars to specialized ambulances. If any of these vehicles face accidents or collisions, commercial auto insurance will cover the damages.
Usually, coverages in a commercial auto policy are:
- Property damage liability coverage
- Bodily injury liability coverage
- Combined single limit
- Uninsured M motorist C coverage
- Collision coverage
- Comprehensive physical damage coverage
- Medical payments
Directors and Officers Insurance:
Large scale practices and hospitals especially require D&O insurance. Though serving as a member of the board is beneficial, it also demands additional responsibilities. There are times when medical practice directors and officers might make wrong decisions that can open the way to a lawsuit. If you work as a medical director or in an administrative job in your practice, you will need D&O insurance. Usually, it provides coverage for:
- Allegations regarding employment practices.
- Cyber data fallout
Additionally, you can look for specific D&O coverages that suit your needs.
Standard exclusions for healthcare professional’s insurance coverages
- Acts committed under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Sexually inappropriate behavior
- Criminal activities or frauds
- Claims from the actions performed in a business not pre-mentioned in the policy
- Unauthorized disclosure of patient records