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Nurses work in a variety of contexts, from health care centers and doctors’ offices to nursing homes or home health care. Liability issues are common in these situations, whether it’s an accidental injury that takes place on company property, a mistake made in a patient’s medical care, or a nurse suffering injury on the job. It’s a good idea to purchase insurance policies that will provide financial support if a costly accident or lawsuit arises.
What insurance coverage do I need as a nurse?
There are many types of insurance available, but these types of coverage are particularly important for nursing professionals to consider:
Professional liability insurance for those in the healthcare field is typically called medical malpractice insurance. This is a crucial coverage for nursing. Although you doubtless hire highly trained nurses and enforce a safe environment, there’s always a chance that a mistake could occur, or a patient could accuse you of making an error even if you are blameless.
Medical errors can have a devastating effect on patients, and the costs involved in these lawsuits and settlements are significant. If your health care practice is accused of negligence, errors, or providing inaccurate advice, malpractice insurance can step in to cover legal fees, settlements, and judgments.
- A newly hired nurse at a nursing home misreads a patient’s chart and accidentally administers an antibiotic that the patient is allergic to. The insurer would pay for the lawsuit and any resulting settlement.
General liability insurance is a key coverage for nurses that protects you from claims of third-party bodily injury, property damage, personal injury, and advertising injury. For nurses who work at doctors’ offices, nursing homes, or health centers, there is always a chance that patients or visitors may accidentally injure themselves.
Although you work hard to make your location as safe as possible, it’s not possible to avoid every potential accident, and injuries from patients tripping or slipping and falling are very common. In addition, there’s always a chance that you could accidentally damage property belonging to someone else—a particular risk for nurses who work in home health care and regularly visit patients’ homes. In addition to bodily injury and property damage, general liability insurance covers personal and advertising injuries, which can include libel, slander, and copyright infringement.
- Bodily injury: While visiting your clinic to make repairs, an HVAC technician slips on an unsecured rug and falls, fracturing her elbow. Your general liability insurance would cover her medical fees and would pay for the lawsuit if she sues you.
- Property damage: A nurse is providing in-home services to a patient when he accidentally knocks over a cup of soda onto an expensive computer, damaging it. General liability insurance would cover the damages.
- Personal and advertising injury: You create a new logo for your home health care agency. Unfortunately, the logo looks very similar to the one being used by another local business. You are sued for copyright infringement. Your general liability policy would cover the lawsuit and any settlement.
Commercial property insurance will protect the value of your business property if it is destroyed or damaged. For healthcare facilities that operate from a fixed location and own expensive equipment, this is a particularly important coverage.
If key property is damaged, it can be difficult and expensive to recover from the loss without insurance coverage. Commercial property insurance can provide financial support to help you replace or repair business property that is damaged by common perils, including windstorms, hail, fire, vandalism, and water damage.
Commercial property insurance covers the following:
- Buildings belonging to or leased by your company
- Contents of the building, including furniture, equipment, and tools
- Property of others while it is under your care, custody, or control
- A fire breaks out at your clinic, damaging the building and destroying medical equipment and furniture. Your commercial property policy will pay for repairs to the building and the cost of replacing equipment and furniture.
Workers’ compensation insurance provides financial and medical benefits for your employees or their dependents in the case of a work-related injury, illness, or death. Nursing is a physically demanding profession, which makes this coverage an important consideration. Even if safety precautions are followed, nurses could suffer common injuries such as back strain from lifting patients, contract communicable diseases from patients, or experience common slip-and-fall injuries in the course of their work.
Workers’ comp will pay for medical expenses, lost income, and rehabilitation for injured workers, and will provide death benefits and funds to cover funeral costs in the case of a work-related death. Most states legally require all companies with employees to provide workers’ compensation coverage. Regulations for workers’ comp benefits vary widely by state, so it’s important to make sure that your business is complying with regulations.
- While assisting a patient, a nurse at your convalescence facility strains her back. Workers’ compensation insurance would pay for her medical fees and a portion of her lost wages while she is unable to work.
- Commercial auto insurance is necessary for companies that own or lease vehicles. It covers third-party bodily injury and property damage if the driver of the vehicle is at fault in an accident, as well as the value of the vehicle itself if it’s damaged by a collision or another peril. If nurses drive their own vehicles to visit clients, hired and non-owned auto insurance may be necessary.
- A fidelity bond will protect your company from losses if your employees commit theft, fraud, or other dishonest acts. This can be important for agencies that provide nurses who give care at clients’ homes. If an employee steals from your customer, a fidelity bond could provide the funds needed to reimburse your customer’s losses.
- Inland marine insurance is a type of coverage that provides financial protection for property that does not remain at a fixed location and is not covered by a standard commercial property policy. This may be necessary for health care providers that transport equipment to other sites.
Pricing and Quotes
Pricing for business insurance will vary based on the type of insurance coverage and the risk profile of your business. Insurers consider factors such as:
- Business size
- Number of employees
- Claims history
Businesses with higher risks will have higher premiums than those deemed lower risk. For example, a health care practice with a history of frequent claims will face higher premiums. Premiums also rise as you increase the limits of insurance. Different insurance companies have different models for rating risks, so it is worth comparing pricing across different insurers.
In order to get an accurate estimate on pricing, it’s best to get a quote from a reputable insurance company. Below we’ve highlighted a few of our trusted partners who offer coverage for health care businesses:
|Provider||General Liability||Professional Liability||Business Owner's Policy|
The nursing profession faces a number of potential risks, and it’s important to consider your business’s individual needs as you plan your insurance coverage. Business insurance can help your company cope with unexpected disasters, whether it’s an unforeseen incident that damages your doctor’s office or clinic, an accidental injury that happens on your property, or an error that harms a patient. Ensuring that your company has a broad range of insurance coverage allows you to feel safe knowing that if an incident occurs, your company will have financial protection.