Being sued for a serious malpractice by a patient is one of the most difficult experiences to handle in the nursing career. When this happens, the nurse can only rely on malpractice insurance for support.

Majority of nurses do not feel the need to have malpractice insurance. However, it can provide a safety net when unexpected things happen in their career. To help them get started, here are a few simple steps to selecting one.

Choose your insurance carrier

Firstly, the nurse should explore the available insurance carriers, where we do have a selection for you to choose from. Some of the most familiar ones include Nursing Service Organisation (NSO), Healthcare Providers Service Organisation (HPSO) and CM&F Group.

The main specialisation for Nursing Service Organisation is providing professional liability insurance for nurses. It holds a title of the largest provider for nurses, as it also covers insurance for nursing students, nursing schools and nurses in training.

The Healthcare Providers Service Organisation (HPSO) provides professional liability insurance for all healthcare staffs. Each healthcare group will have different policies, so nurses who choose this carrier have to read thoroughly before proceeding with the application.

The oldest insurance provider, CM&F Group provides malpractice insurance that covers all kinds of professional workers. Today, they have established an online system where all the policies, terms and applications are accessible online.

Recently launched, Medical Practitioners Indemnity (MDI) allied with Jardine Lloyd Thompson Group plc (JLT) protects healthcare workers against medical negligence in Malaysia; while AIG insurance provider (available in Singapore) covers all professionals with the alleged breach of duty.

Get a quote and apply

Once the carrier has been chosen, a quote of policies will be sent. Depending on the nurse’s profile and desired coverage, the premiums may vary.

Types of insurance policy

The most common are claim-made and occurrence-made policies. Claim-made policies cover when the incident and the filing of claims happen during the policy period.

It will not cover unless the nurse pays for tail coverage, which covers the claims as long as the policy and incident occurs during the policy period. Different from claim-made policies, occurrence-type policies are lifetime coverage for any incident that happens during the policy period irrespective of when the claim is made.

This simply means that the nurse will be covered for the claim made even if she no longer has insurance with carrier. As long as the incident happened while the nurse is still under the insurance, the claim will be obtained.

After reading the quotes and policies, she will now be ready to fill up an online application to own her malpractice insurance. Once the provider receives the application, the subsequent approval process will take one week.

Useful tips for nurses to secure a malpractice insurance

1. Start as early as possible

No one can predict when a serious malpractice is committed. Therefore, she should own the malpractice insurance as early as possible. For nursing students, the insurance should be obtained as soon as possible because many insurance carriers offer special discount for them.

2. Do not rely on employer’s malpractice insurance

Nurses who have official work will be given profit in terms of insurance coverage. Although it sounds promising, some small companies would have small insurance coverage for the employees as they prioritise company welfare more than the staffs.

3. Do not sign up before the coverage is read thoroughly

Check the extent of coverage being offered carefully and all the annual fees that need to be paid. It is advisable to obtain quotes from different insurance carriers to compare the policies that best suit the needs and expenses.

Nurses should take their time in choosing an insurance carrier to find the best one that fits her concerns about the extent of coverage needed. She can also join an online nursing forum to seek advice and other recommendations. MIMS

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