Types Of Malpractice Insurance For Nurse Practitioners
Because a nurse practitioner works in a specialized field of medicine, he or she may be more likely to be targeted with a malpractice lawsuit. The number of lawsuits against nurse practitioners increased last year, and all across the board prices for malpractice insurance shot up as well. But the insurance is still cost effective considering that a physician may pay almost three times as much for the same policy.
When it comes to malpractice insurance for nurse practitioners there are two basic types for you to consider. All malpractice suits fall into one category or another depending on the time they are brought into court. Everyone who is licensed as a nurse practitioner is strongly urged to take out malpractice insurance of some form or another.
Often an employer will pay the costs of malpractice insurance, but this money may dry up as soon as the ink is dry on the lawsuit, so nurse practitioners are urged to get their own policies regardless of employment or affiliation.
Most insurance companies offer two types of malpractice insurance to nurse practitioners. They are called occurrence and claims made. Occurrence policies could be considered a sound investment to a quiet future. They cover a nurse practitioner even after retirement as long as the policy was paid when the actual alleged malpractice occurred. A nurse practitioner is still covered even though may have dropped the policy after retirement and stopped paying the premium.
Claims made insurance covers the nurse practitioner against claims made at the time of the alleged incident. However a claims made insurance policy only covers the nurse practitioner as long as they still continue to hold that policy. If they retire without it, they may be liable for all expenses incurred in what could be an expensive malpractice proceeding.
It is often suggested that a smart nurse practitioner choose occurrence insurance over claims made. However some companies have started to introduce what is called a tail policy. This policy is designed to take effect after a claims policy has been dropped and will cover the nurse practitioner for past acts. However this insurance is a lot more expensive when you consider you could accomplish the same thing if you started out with an occurrence policy from the beginning.
It is also suggested that a smart nurse practitioner can greatly reduce the risks of a malpractice lawsuit by following some simple rules. Always document everything you do for a patient, whether it be administering a medication, or taking them out for some therapy. That way if your activities are ever called into question, you have written proof that you did everything correctly.
Also make sure to engage in risk management whenever possible. If you work in an office, make sure that the other employees are following the same safe practices you are. You certainly don’t want to be dragged into court because someone else was being lazy or unsafe. Even if it doesn’t cost you money it could damage your professional reputation beyond repair. If you feel this could happen to you, seek work elsewhere soon. And make sure you go out and buy your own malpractice insurance.