Whether you’re working in a busy downtown hospital, a cancer centre, or a primary care setting, your work as a nurse practitioner keeps you on your toes at all times.
So much so that on any given day, you could be diagnosing a patient, administering medicine, or ordering lab tests.
However, as rewarding as your job may be, being a nurse practitioner doesn’t come without professional risks. You’re overseeing other people’s health and there are a lot of opportunities for things to go wrong.
You can protect yourself, your hard work, and your livelihood with nurse practitioner liability insurance.
What is nurse liability insurance?
Nurse Liability Insurance is specifically designed to cover nurses and nurse practitioners when claims are made against them for malpractice or negligence. This coverage comes into play when a patient is injured or harmed in some way allegedly by the actions of a nurse practitioner or registered nurse. Having Nurse Liability Insurance means these medical professionals would not have to pay out of pocket if a liability claim results in damages against them.
What Does Nurse Practitioner Liability Insurance Cover?
There is a myriad of serious risks involved for all who are involved in the medical profession, and nurses are no exception. Nurses and nurse practitioners are exposed to a variety of risks on a daily basis in performing their duties. Nurse Liability Insurance is designed to cover individuals in the event a claim is made against them. In the case that a claim results in a lawsuit, this insurance covers the legal costs, as well as damages associated with bodily injury or harm due to negligence. Nurse Liability Insurance specifically covers medical malpractice claims made by patients and the ensuing damages that can result.
These can include:
Situation #1: Failure to Make a Correct Diagnosis
Sometimes it can take multiple tests and several visits to narrow down the cause of a patient’s symptoms.
But here’s the thing:
Diseases that look similar can require drastically different treatments.
If there’s a delay in the diagnosis or if the diagnosis is wrong, the consequences for the patient can be catastrophic. Nurse practitioner liability insurance can cover the cost of settlements and treatments in the event that you’re named in a lawsuit after an incorrect diagnosis.
Situation #2: Failure to Refer or Consult with Specialists
There are times when the right course of action is to refer your patient to a specialist.
Depending on the illness, a referral appointment with a specialist, or the lack thereof, can have a serious impact on your patient’s health outcomes. But the right time to make that referral is almost always easier to see in hindsight.
If a patient suffers a permanent disability or passes away, you could see patients and/or their families coming around and asking serious questions. This is another scenario that nurse practitioner liability insurance is designed to cover.
Situation #3: Failure to Treat to an Adequate Standard
As a nurse practitioner, you’re trained to give every patient your best in terms of care.
But depending on your work setting, however, it’s possible to end up making a mistake early in your career or to end up in a situation where you forget to follow a piece of protocol after working a brutal shift.
A solid nurse practitioner liability insurance policy can ensure that you’re covered throughout your years of practice and beyond.
There is a choice when it comes to Nurse Liability Insurance to have either claims-based coverage or per occurrence coverage. This is a decision that should be made with the help of an ALIGNED professional broker based on a nurse or nurse practitioner’s individual circumstances.
Who Needs Medical Malpractice Insurance Coverage?
Medical malpractice insurance coverage is needed for a variety of professionals in the health industry. It includes home healthcare providers, acupuncturists, dieticians and nutritionists, pharmacists, occupational therapists, registered nurses, and more.
Medical malpractice insurance is essential for anyone in the healthcare field. Medical professionals and assistants are responsible for the health and well-being of all Canadian individuals and families. They have access to sensitive patient information, make important decisions that directly impact patient health, and use a variety of dangerous machinery and tools.
Medical malpractice coverage is an important insurance policy to protect medical professionals and assistants while on the job. It provides coverage for incorrect diagnosis, errors and negligence, and any medical advice that causes patients injuries, illness, or death.
How is Medical Malpractice Insurance Different from Professional Liability Insurance?
Some people might confuse medical malpractice insurance with professional liability insurance as they both provide coverage against losses and damages. Although medical malpractice insurance and professional liability insurance are both types of errors & omissions insurance, they are different in terms of the coverage provided.
Professional liability insurance provides coverage for liability and third-party claims due to a financial loss. For example, if your medical services cause your patient to suffer a financial loss, you will be protected under your medical clinic’s professional liability insurance. The professional liability insurance will cover any expenses for settlement or judgment awarded, as well as legal fees associated with the court, defence, attorney, etc.
On the other hand, medical malpractice insurance provides coverage for liability and third-party claims due to a physical loss or damage. Medical malpractice insurance was specifically designed for medical professionals because they directly work with patients on their physical and mental beings. Especially for medical professionals like doctors, nurses, dentists, surgeons, and physiotherapists, there is a high risk for patients to suffer physical losses, such as an injury or illness. Medical malpractice insurance provides coverage for settlements and judgment awards, litigation fees, medical costs, and more.
How Professional Liability Insurance for Nurses Works?
All registered nurses and nurse practitioners practicing in Ontario must have professional liability insurance. Professional liability insurance is automatically included in the Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario membership.
As a registered nurse or nurse practitioner, you are exposed to the same risks as any other person in the medical profession. You provide advice to patients, have access to sensitive patient documents, perform assessments, and assist doctors with patient care when needed.
Professional liability insurance for nurses provides coverage for legal costs, such as attorney, settlements, and defence, associated with claims of damage and bodily injuries due to negligence, improper diagnosis, failure to protect your patients, errors in consultation, and poor treatment.
How Much is Liability Insurance for a Nurse?
The cost of liability insurance for a nurse will vary according to the individual practitioner and her or his employment situation. The level of risk involved in a particular job, the nature of the job, and the number of years of employment will influence the cost of insurance. In addition, the place of employment can play a role in determining risk factors, as can any past claims made against an individual. The place of employment may affect the cost of coverage and whether or not there exists group or individual coverage within the larger employment structure.
The Real Reason Why You Should Speak With a Broker for Your Nurse Practitioner Liability Insurance Needs
A lot of people don’t know that nurse practitioner liability insurance can come in two general categories:
Claims-based and Per Occurrence.
With a claims-based insurance policy, coverage kicks in if the policy is in place when the incident is known and the claim is filed. Meanwhile, a pre-occurrence policy will offer coverage if it’s active at the time of the event in question.
Due to these distinctions and the impact they can have on your career, it’s important to discuss your options with a qualified and knowledgeable broker.
Find the Right Nurse Practitioner Liability Insurance from ALIGNED
ALIGNED works with Canada’s top insurance companies to provide custom insurance packages at affordable prices. Click Here To Get A Quote or contact one of our business insurance experts for information or with any questions you may have.