Nurse practitioners have a great deal of responsibility when it comes to patient care. Many nurse practitioners assume that because they work under a doctor and their employer provides some level of malpractice insurance, they’re covered. It may be worth it to purchase your own policy, however. Employer malpractice insurance is to protect the employer, not you. And nurses and nurse practitioners are being sued in increasing numbers. There are lots of companies offering malpractice insurance—how much do you need, and what companies are best?
- The 6 Best Malpractice Insurance Companies for Nurse Practitioners
- What is Malpractice Insurance for Nurse Practitioners?
- Who Else Needs Malpractice Insurance?
- How Much does Malpractice Insurance for Nurse Practitioners Cost?
- The Differences Between Claims-Made vs. Occurrence
The 6 Best Malpractice Insurance Companies for Nurse Practitioners
We crunched the numbers, and these are the top 6 providers of malpractice insurance for nurse practitioners. In every circumstance, we said we were nurse practitioners from Maryland and that our specialty was family practice.
- CoverWallet: Best for Comparing Online Quotes
- Proliability – Best Liability Coverage for Malpractice Insurance for Nurse Practitioners
- Berxi – Best for Including Lawyer Service in Malpractice Insurance for Nurse Practitioners
- CM&F – The Cheapest Quote for Malpractice Insurance for Nurse Practitioners
- NSO (Nursing Service Organization) – The Most Comprehensive Malpractice Insurance for Nurse Practitioners
- CNA – Best for Malpractice Insurance Policy Customization for Nurse Practitioners
CoverWallet: Best for Comparing Online Quotes
CoverWallet is a digital commercial insurance broker. They work with several leading business insurance companies to create a digital quote flow. Once you provide your information on their quote form, they are able to provide several quotes for you to compare and select the best one for you.
If you are new to buying nurse practitioner malpractice insurance, you should call to discuss your situation with an agent. Their agents are very knowledgeable about malpractice insurance or business insurance in general. They will be able to help you understand your specific situation and the malpractice insurance that is most suitable for your case.
Proliability – Best Liability Coverage for Malpractice Insurance for Nurse Practitioners
Proliability is sponsored by the AANP (American Association of Nurse Practitioners) and this membership may earn you a discount. You can choose either claims-based or occurrence-based coverage. The standard policy is $1million per occurrence, but up to $5 million is available.
Proliability provides liability insurance for a number of industries. They have 4.5 stars on Trustpilot, based on over 10,000 reviews. It’s easy to get a quote and you can apply online.
Berxi – Best for Including Lawyer Service in Malpractice Insurance for Nurse Practitioners
Berxi is part of Berkshire Hathaway, and therefore has all the financial backing of that company. If the worst should occur and you are sued for malpractice, Berxi will provide you with a lawyer to help you defend your case.
They claim they can save you 20% over other malpractice insurance companies, but it might depend on a number of factors. Shop around.
CM&F – The Cheapest Quote for Malpractice Insurance for Nurse Practitioners
CM&F makes it easy to get a quote. And it would seem their rates are very reasonable. Actually, their rates seem so low that we actually went through the process twice because we thought we had made a mistake. The offer 24/7 portable coverage, so you’re protected no matter where you go, such as if you volunteer at a clinic or take a part-time job. They have good customer service reviews as well.
NSO (Nursing Service Organization) – The Most Comprehensive Malpractice Insurance for Nurse Practitioners
NSO serves all types of nurses, including nurse practitioners. They have comprehensive liability insurance and reasonable premiums. Students are eligible for 60% a policy. They understand nurses and what makes them tick, and they’ve been in business for 40 years.
CNA – Best for Malpractice Insurance Policy Customization for Nurse Practitioners
CNA is a leader in malpractice insurance for health care professionals. They’ve been named the best Medical Malpractice provider by the National Underwriter’s Property Casualty 360. They tailor their policies for you. They don’t have online quoting, because they sell policies through agents. But they have an excellent reputation and are worth a look.
What is Malpractice Insurance for Nurse Practitioners?
Responsibilities for nurse practitioners may differ dramatically, depending on the state in which they practice. It can also depend on their specialty. There are three different levels of responsibility:
- Full practice
- Reduced practice
- Restricted practice
In full practice states, NP’s can assess patients, diagnose patients, order diagnostic tests, and provide treatments. Reduced practice states require the NP work in collaboration with a doctor, and restricted states require that NP’s be supervised by a doctor. NP’s are allowed to practice independently in 28 states, which is great. However, this opens them up to malpractice claims to almost the same degree that doctors have. See The 5 Best Providers of Medical Malpractice Insurance
According to Contemporary Pediatrics, the four most common reasons to be sued are:
- Failure to diagnose
- Improper care and treatment
- Failure to refer to emergency department
- Improper prescribing
No one intentionally harms a patient, but mistakes can be made. Symptoms can be overlooked or misinterpreted. And it should be noted that patients sometimes sue because they are desperate and unhappy, and nothing is going their way. It’s not necessarily any medical professional’s fault.
Who Else Needs Malpractice Insurance?
Malpractice insurance is also called medical professional liability insurance and is basically a type of errors and omissions insurance. Many patients are increasingly litigious, and any medical professional would do well to look into malpractice insurance, including:
- Physical therapists
- Medical students
Almost anyone who is responsible for some kind of patient care should get malpractice insurance.
Does Nurse Practitioner Student Need Malpractice Insurance?
Yes. Sadly even as a nurse practitioner student, you are still held accountable for your negligence in patient care, or even when patients believe that you are negligent (in fact you are not). When a law suit is filed against you, without a malpractice insurance policy, you will be responsible for all costs incurred from attorney fees to court costs. You definitely don’t want to be in such situation.
Getting a student nurse practitioner malpractice insurance policy will protect you from these law suits, which has been increasing in the past years. It is relatively cheap, just make sure you compare quotes from a few providers before choosing the best one for you. Learn more The 5 Best Malpractice Insurance Companies for Nursing Students
How Much does Malpractice Insurance for Nurse Practitioners Cost?
How much you pay for malpractice insurance is dependent on a number of things, including:
- State where you practice
- Your specialty
- Your claims history
- Policy liability limits
- Whether you go with claims-made or occurrence insurance
In some states, nurse practitioners are allowed to do more without working under a doctor, so you’ll pay more for insurance in those states. On the other hand, some states have caps on how much a patient can sue for, and liability insurance is lower in those states.
For a nurse practitioner with the specialty in family practice in Maryland, annual premiums are in the range of $416 – $1,934 depending on the insurance companies. In this case, CM&F offers the cheapest premiums while NSO’s premiums are the most expensive. However, it might vary by state and by case, so be sure to shop around with 2-3 companies to find the best price.
As you can see, the cost varies significantly by providers. Make sure you compare a few quotes before making the final decision. Working with digital brokers like CoverWallet or Simply Business is a good option since they will be able to help you compare several quotes in one place.
The Differences Between Claims-Made vs. Occurrence
Claims made coverage covers any claim brought against the insured during the policy period. Once your policy expires, you are no longer covered. Claims-made coverage is generally a little less expensive, since many patients file suit months or even years after the saw the NP.
You could get tail coverage, if your leaving one job and starting another and want to make sure you’re covered if a patient files suit during the interim.
Occurrence based coverage covers any claim made during the policy period, even if the claim was filed long after the policy expired. Most malpractice insurance is claims-made coverage.
So, for example, Brian works at Medical International for a year, from June of 2019 to July of 2020. A patient named Margaret sues Brian due to a misdiagnosis. Margaret saw Brian in July, and she files suit in September. If Brian had claims based coverage, his policy would have expired when he left his job in July, so he would not be covered for Margaret’s claim. If he had occurrence based insurance, there would be no problem because he was insured when Margaret saw him.
What are the common malpractice suits against nurse practitioners?
In general, nurse practitioners are held accountable when they are found negligent while caring for patients. In increasing number of states, nurse practitioners are given more and more responsibilities and allowed to practice independently. This opens them to even more malpractice claims. Below are a few examples:
- When a nurse practitioner does not make sure the equipment is fully charged and/or functional before using on patients, if that causes problems to the patient, malpractice claims can be filed against the nurse.
- When nurse practitioners practice independently, if they don’t assess and monitor a patient carefully, a serious malpractice claim can be made against the nurse.
What is Tail Coverage in Nurse Practitioner Malpractice Insurance?
Also known as Extended Reporting Endorsement, tail coverage is usually added to a nurse practitioner malpractice insurance policy when it is cancelled. This will help cover the claims filed against the insureds after the policy is cancelled for incidents that happened when the policy was still active. Malpractice claims or law suits usually happen months or even years after the incidents, so tail coverage is quite popular in malpractice insurance policy.
Tail coverage is usually added to the policy automatically and free in the case of retirement, disability, or death. And tail coverage is extended permanently.
Tail coverage can also be added to cover the next 2, 5, or 10 years. In this case, it can be quite expensive, sometimes at 200% or 300% of the cost of the nurse practitioner malpractice insurance policy.
Nurse Practitioner Malpractice Insurance in New York
New York is in the top 3 states with the most expensive malpractice insurance (together New Jersey and Pennsylvania). It is highly advisable that nurse practitioners need to have their own malpractice insurance policy. Many hospitals in New York actually require nurse practitioners to have malpractice insurance policy before working in the hospitals.
An experienced nurse practitioner in acute critical care in New York can pay up to $2,200 in annual premiums with $1,000,000 coverage per claim and $6,000,000 coverage in aggregate.
In order to get the best quote, you need to shop around with a few companies. Working with a digital commercial broker like CoverWallet or Simply Business is a good way to compare quotes from several companies in one place conveniently. They are working with several companies and able to provide quotes from these companies at once.
If you are a nurse practitioner, you have a great deal of responsibility for patients and their care. Protect yourself by getting malpractice insurance for yourself, even if your employer carries it as well. You’ll need peace of mind for yourself as well as your patients.