4 Ways Malpractice Insurance Can Safeguard Your Nursing Career

If you’ve been in the medical industry for quite some time, you’re probably familiar with the term ‘malpractice insurance.’ After all, it’s become one of the biggest trends in the industry recently.

However, if you dig deeper into the subject, you may notice that there are a few nasty rumors and myths surrounding malpractice insurance. Some say it makes you guilty by default, while others believe it isn’t necessary since the employer’s policy provides enough coverage on its own. While those points or arguments are certainly valid, they’re not necessarily true, not by a long shot, and you’ll come to understand exactly why as you get to learn more about malpractice insurance.


What Is Malpractice Insurance?

Malpractice insurance is a type of liability insurance offered to medical workers. It protects healthcare professionals from patients who intend to file lawsuits against them under the context that the professional’s negligence or mistakes harmed the patient.

For example, if a patient’s condition gets worse after a visit to the dentist, they may file a malpractice lawsuit in an attempt to seek compensation in the form of money.


Malpractice Insurance
Malpractice Insurance

When purchasing malpractice insurance, you generally have two options:

  • Claims-made insurance will only take effect if the insurance was already in effect when the incident concerning the malpractice took place and if the malpractice was filed. Should either of those two conditions be unfulfilled during the policy’s effective date, you won’t be covered by the insurance, both in terms of settlement money and lawyer fees. 
  • Occurrence policies are fairly similar to claims-made policies, except they’d still cover you even if the lawsuit was filed when the insurance had already expired. However, the insurance should still have been in effect when the malpractice supposedly occurred. In short, there’s only one condition as opposed to claims-made insurance that has two.
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How Malpractice Insurance Protects Nurses

Although malpractice insurance is commonly used by dentists, doctors, and other medical experts, it also applies to nurses. In fact, in the right circumstances, malpractice insurance can essentially safeguard your nursing career, and here’s why: 


  • It Can Save You From A Financial Crisis 

When a patient files a lawsuit against you, you most likely would have to pay for the settlement. For your reference, the average settlement amount for a medical malpractice lawsuit, at least in the United States, is somewhere around USD$250,000. In fact, if worse comes to worst, you may even have to pay a million dollars to the patient, which is probably enough to bankrupt any ordinary person.

Fortunately, when you have malpractice insurance, the insurance company would cover the settlement fees in the event you lose the case. Moreover, they’d cover attorney fees. Considering the average fee of criminal defense attorneys, which is around USD$300 an hour, you’ll save money by carrying malpractice insurance.

Looking at those points, it’s easy to see how malpractice insurance can save your career. It’s practically a way out of a situation that may cause you to have a huge financial crisis. And with the amount of settlement fees you may have to pay, you might end up spending money for the rest of your life paying back the damages caused by one instance of malpractice.


  • You Are More Likely To Keep Your License

Apart from protecting your finances, malpractice insurance can protect your license, which is another component that’d affect your nursing career. So how does this work? 

When a patient sues you for malpractice, not only will you have to defend yourself against their lawyer, but you may also find your state’s nursing board investigating the issue. If they ever determine that the lawsuit is valid and there was a case of medical malpractice, they may decide to revoke your license. Of course, this doesn’t happen 100% of the time, but it’s likely. 

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Fortunately, when you have malpractice coverage, the insurance company will defend you against the other party. This would mean you have higher chances of proving your innocence to the board, and if you’re lucky, you may still keep your license even after the whole ordeal.


Malpractice Insurance career
Malpractice Insurance career


  • The Typical Insurance Has Several Coverages

When you purchase malpractice insurance, the company may enumerate the benefits you’ll enjoy under their coverage. Some of the key benefits of a typical policy include the following:

  • Insurance policies may pay up to USD$1 million in monetary damages to the plaintiff. 
  • Companies can offer USD$20,000 to cover defense attorney fees.
  • You’ll receive help if you need to defend yourself against charges brought by your state’s licensing board.
  • The company can pay the penalties for HIPAA violations for up to USD$25,000 yearly. 
  • Anyone who becomes a victim of an assault in the workplace may receive up to USD$25,000 to cover property damage and medical expenses.

Take note that those don’t apply to all malpractice insurance policies. However, you should find such benefits in most of them since they’re the benefits people mainly look for.


  • You Can Qualify For More Jobs

Yes, with malpractice insurance, you’ll be qualified for more jobs. This is mainly because employers may decide to make it a requirement that their employees carry malpractice insurance. Perhaps it’s also because they don’t want to deal with the mess themselves if ever a patient files a lawsuit against one of their nurses. Or maybe it’s just their preference.

Either way, you’re essentially increasing your chances of employment by purchasing malpractice insurance. For a package that costs around USD$100 a month, it’s no wonder most healthcare practitioners have some form of malpractice insurance. Not only will it protect your career, but it may also boost it.

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Wrapping Up

Not many people truly know how malpractice insurance works, which is probably why they tend to have second thoughts when it comes to purchasing that particular policy.

However, now that you know how it works and what potential benefits you can reap from it, it should be easy to see that it’s a highly underrated topic for nurses. After all, not only will it help you protect yourself against malpractice lawsuits, but you can also improve your career with it. The only thing left for you to do is to decide from which company you’ll buy the insurance.


Dr. Amanda
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