If you are like most nurses in Alabama, you rely on your employer’s malpractice insurance to cover any legal expenses that may result from a lawsuit.
Did you know that you might be personally liable for a judgment that exceeds your employer’s coverage limits? Do you even know what those limits are? Do you know what is and isn’t covered? Most nurses do not.
Your employer’s policy is unlikely to cover you for off-duty incidents. Most do not follow you through a job change or a layoff when you might still be held liable for an incident that occurred when you were employed. You may be sued by your employer’s insurance company to recover damages they had to pay out on if you are deemed partially or even remotely at fault.
Personal, Professional Liability Insurance
A personal policy is one that covers you and your actions. It protects you from serious financial outlay resulting from a lawsuit and the benefits are solely yours – they are not shared with other employees or employers.
Here’s what you should look for in a policy:
- Personal and professional liability coverage – both per claim and aggregate
- Defendant expense benefit
- Personal injury protection
- License protection
- Legal representation (including deposition representation)
- Damage to property of others
What are the costs?
Policy costs will depend largely on your license level and any special area of practice. However, nurses at any practice level should look into a liability policy, with LPNs and lower license levels the most uninsured groups.
Policies are ridiculously inexpensive for the peace of mind offered. A quick online quote for an RN (working full-time) that provides 6 million dollars in aggregate coverage and the benefits listed above, was $100 a year. That’s a few hours of work for a year’s worth of protection.
Common discounts include recent graduates (up to 50%), retirees who maintain their license or nurses who attend a risk management course.
In the final analysis, the benefits outweigh the costs by a huge margin.