NPs and Professional Liability Insurance: Getting it Right

Professional liability insurance, also known as malpractice insurance, is a crucial component of protecting nurse practitioners (NPs) in their practice. Whether you’re a business owner or employed by someone else, having your own policy is essential. Even if your employer provides coverage, it’s important to evaluate the terms as it often prioritizes the interests of the business.

In this episode (#77) of the NP Business Matters podcast, we discuss the need for NPs to have their own insurance to ensure personal protection and the ability to choose their own attorney in case of a claim.

One of the growing concerns regarding professional liability insurance is the rising cost. With more NPs practicing autonomously and an increasing number of malpractice lawsuits, insurance premiums have seen a significant increase.

The fifth edition of the Nurse Practitioner Professional Liability Exposure Claim Report, published by NSO and CNA, reveals a 10.5% rise in total claims. This indicates the importance of having adequate coverage to protect against potential damages and legal fees.

Selecting a Policy

When selecting a policy, NPs should consider several factors. The type of policy, whether claims-made or occurrence-based, determines coverage during and after the policy period. While claims-made policies require tail coverage to protect against claims made after the policy’s expiration, occurrence-based policies provide ongoing coverage regardless of changes in employment or insurance plans. NPs should also assess coverage limits, policy exclusions, and premiums to ensure they have sufficient protection and the ability to defend their licenses before the Board of Nursing.

Reducing malpractice risk involves obtaining informed consent, following clinical guidelines, effective communication, maintaining accurate medical records, appropriate consultation and referrals, and staying up-to-date with continuing education. By implementing risk reduction strategies, NPs can minimize the likelihood of malpractice claims and protect their professional reputations.

Professional liability insurance is an essential part of any practice. Understanding many of the variables involved with finding the right plan, goes a long way in providing NPs with the appropriate coverage, and some peace of mind.

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Your Turn

Have you ever been in a situation where you have not had the appropriate coverage? What would you recommend to your colleagues? What other tips would you include?

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  1. would like to request a quote for a start up business, telehealth offering wt loss meds to pts. part-time for starters.
    been a NP practicing x 14 years this year..
    Currently covered in my full time job at a primary care practice. have never had claims filed against me.

    target date is 3/18/24

    Thanks Please send quote to email address provided.

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