Frequently asked questions about professional liability coverage
Below is our list of frequently asked questions on professional liability insurance coverage offered through NSO. Find out the types of coverage you will receive, factors that may affect your rate, and which policy is right for you.
Does having my own individual professional liability insurance policy make me a more likely target for a lawsuit?
Why do I need an individual professional liability policy? Won't my employer's insurance coverage safeguard me?
Will my policy provide coverage if I'm assaulted on the job?
What is the difference between occurrence and claims-made coverage?
I just changed jobs. Will I have to pay more for my liability insurance?
I work for several different employers. Will that affect my coverage or rate?
I'm starting my own company. Do you have a policy that would cover my company for malpractice?
I just received a copy of my certificate of insurance. I am currently listed as an LPN, but I am now an RN. How do I change my certification?
I have an active license, but I am not going to be working for a while. Should I keep my coverage active?
How do I upgrade or reduce my insurance coverage (limits of liability, hours I work per week, etc.)?
How do I cancel my policy?
1. Does having my own individual professional liability insurance policy make me a more likely target for a lawsuit?
No, having your own professional liability insurance coverage does not make you a more likely target for a lawsuit. When something happens and a patient is injured, most attorneys will name everyone who was involved in the patients' care in the lawsuit—whether you have your own coverage or not.
In addition, no one knows, not even the patient's lawyer, that you have your own professional liability insurance. We can't confirm your policy's existence to anyone other than you without your expressed written consent. So you won't be named in a lawsuit just because you have coverage.
2. Why do I need an individual professional liability policy? Won't my employer's insurance policy cover me?
Professional liability insurance safeguards you against allegations of malpractice. While your employer may provide coverage for you, it may not be enough to cover you in all cases. Your employer's policy is designed to preserve the employer’s needs and interests first.
Your employer's policy probably only covers you while you are at work and is unlikely to safeguard you if you give advice to a friend or neighbor after hours, perform volunteer work, or moonlight outside of your full-time job. The professional liability policy offered through NSO is individual coverage that will offer insurance for these activities, as well as provides coverage over and above your employer's policy, even if you change jobs.
3. Will my policy provide coverage if I'm assaulted on the job?
Our policy provides coverage for medical expenses (including workplace violence counseling) or property damage if you are assaulted at work or during work-related travel. Our policy defines "workplace" as anywhere you are providing professional services, so this coverage will travel with you into the field. This is excess coverage in addition to any other available insurance covering such loss. (Assault coverage is not available in Texas.)
4. What is the difference between occurrence and claims-made coverage?
An occurrence policy provides coverage for a claim that occurs during the policy period, regardless of when the claim is reported.
For example, let's assume you carried a malpractice policy from December 1, 2012 to November 30, 2013 and it was an occurrence policy. You never renewed the policy. On June 16, 2014 you receive notice that you were named in a malpractice lawsuit for something that happened on February 4, 2013. Because the incident occurred during your coverage period, you would be covered for that claim, even though you received notice of the claim after your policy ended.
A claims-made policy provides coverage for an incident that occurs during an active policy period only if the claim is also filed during an active policy period.
For example, let’s assume you had a claims-made policy from December 1, 2012 to November 30, 2013 and you did not renew that policy. On June 16, 2014 you received notice that you were named in a malpractice lawsuit for something that happened on February 4, 2013. You would not have coverage under your claims-made policy because your coverage was not active when the claim was made.
If you own a claims-made policy, give some additional thought before you decide to cancel or non-renew your policy. If you decide to end a claims-made policy, you can purchase "tail" coverage. Tail coverage will extend the time that a claim can be reported, but the incident will still need to occur while the policy was active.
If you are not sure whether your policy through NSO is occurrence or claims-made, please email us or call us with your policy number, and we'll confirm your coverage for you.
5. I just changed jobs. Will I have to pay more for my liability insurance?
No, your premium will not change if you change jobs. If you are an RN, LPN, or LVN, you will be able to enjoy the same benefits for the same premiums as all of the other nurses in your state. For example, if you take a position in a nursing home, you would pay the same premium as a nurse employed at a hospital.
6. I work for several different employers. Will that affect my coverage or rate?
No, your policy is designed to provide coverage for you anywhere you work within the scope of your license. It is not necessary to record worksites on your policy and there is no additional premium. You are safeguarded 24 hours a day at any location.
7. I'm starting my own company. Do you have a policy that will cover my company for malpractice?
Yes, NSO offers professional liability insurance to nursing firms, providing many of the same coverages our individual program offers. Our coverage can be tailored to meet the specific needs of your firm. Click here for more information on our affordable liability coverage for nursing firms.
8. I just received a copy of my certificate of insurance. I am currently listed as an LPN, but I am now an RN. What do I need to do to change my certification?
To change the licensure on your policy, simply send us an email about the change and include your name and policy number. We will update your policy and send you a revised Certificate of Insurance. Your rates and benefits will be the same.
9. I have an active license, but I am not going to be working for a while. Should I keep my coverage active?
If you plan on keeping your license active, you have a responsibility to anyone to whom you give advice, any place you volunteer, and any situation that requires emergency care. Your nursing license needs to be insured at all times. One option is to take advantage of our Retirement/Leave Discount, which can include family leave, change to a non-nursing occupation, retirement, or disability. This discount offers limited coverage at 50% off of our full-time nursing premium. All you need to do to change your licensure on your policy is send us an email outlining your particular situation. Be sure to include your name and policy number.
10. How do I upgrade or reduce my insurance coverage (limits of liability, hours I work per week, etc.)?
We ask that any coverage change you would like to make to your policy be requested in writing.
If you would like to request to change your coverage, you can email us. Be sure to include your name, address, policy number, and requested change.
If you would like to know if there is a change in your annual premium based on your coverage change, you can call 1-800-247-1500 and we will help you to proceed.
Please note that in any case, we will not be able to change your coverage until we have received the appropriate additional premium.
Any refund of premium, if one is due, will be sent to the address on the policy, so be sure to include your current address in the request.
11. How do I cancel my policy?
If, after careful consideration, you determine you would like to cancel your policy, you can do so by submitting a written request to cancel by fax or mail. Your policy will be canceled based on the date we receive your notification or your request. If you are eligible, you will receive a refund of any unused premium within two weeks of our processing your request.
Before you cancel your policy, there are a few things to keep in mind. If you are cancelling because you are temporarily leaving your position, we can offer you a 50% discount on your premium and adjust your coverage. This will allow you to have the professional liability coverage you need while maintaining an active license.
Also, if you are covered by an employer's plan, be sure that you understand the coverage before you cancel your individual coverage. Your employer's policy provisions may differ in ways that will leave you under-insured. Check to see if your employer will provide each of the benefits that our policy provides.