Claims guide

This guide includes the steps you need to take if you think a claim has or will be made against you. You'll also learn about the claims handling process at CNA, the company that administers claims.

We know it's stressful. So we're here at every step of the claims experience

Understanding the claims process can help you work your way through it. And NSO is always by your side.

Spotting and reporting incidents are essential first steps in the medical claims process. But how do you know when you've experienced an incident?

Clinical concerns such as adverse treatment results and medication errors would be considered incidents. Incidents also include signs of patient displeasure, such as a letter of complaint, a heated disagreement, or repeated failure to keep appointments without adequate explanation.
"A claim means a demand for money or services. Claim also means filing of a suit or the starting of arbitration proceedings naming you and alleging injury or damage."

That means a claim could be any one of the following:

  • A summons or complaint alleging an act or omission in the rendering of professional services.
  • A letter, or any other document, or demand for services or money from you because of acts or omissions arising from professional services you provide.
  • An oral threat or complaint indicating that a party is holding you responsible for damages arising from professional services rendered.
  • Notice of arbitration filed against you for damages alleged from your professional services.
Nurses and nurse practitioners should call 800-247-1500 or use our online incident report to report an incident or make a claim.

Timely reporting ensures that an incident, if it develops into a covered claim and is not excluded for other reasons, will be covered. While most medical incident reports never move beyond this stage, it’s difficult to predict which ones will develop into a claim. Having the events on record safeguards you, the patient, and the Insurer.

NSO will confirm your policy was in force during the alleged date of loss, and forward the materials on to CNA for immediate claims handling. We can also receive your claim information through electronic transmission for faster processing.
When contacting NSO, please provide:

  • Your policy number
  • The telephone number and best time you can be reached
  • An address where you can receive mail
  • The date you received the claim
  • The date of the incident
  • The claimant name (if available)
  • A brief description of the facts of the claim (if available)

Remember, the sooner you give us notice, the sooner we can take action.

After you report the claim, make sure you take the following steps throughout the claims process:

  1. Do not discuss your claim with anyone, including the patient. Limit all discussion of the claim to your NSO representative, your CNA claims consultant, or your attorney.
  2. Do not sign or accept any document related to the claim from any party without obtaining approval from your CNA claims consultant.
  3. Avoid discussing, commenting upon, or taking issue with any information you receive regarding judicial or administrative proceedings.
  4. Be sure you do not admit liability, consent to any arbitration or judgment, or agree to any settlement proposal.
  5. Be prepared to spend a substantial amount of time with counsel and your CNA claims consultant to aid in the investigation of your claim.
  6. Report any communication you receive from the patient, patient's attorney or any state or federal administrative agency, licensing or regulatory authority, immediately to your CNA claims consultant.
  1. Assign your case to a claims consultant with claims-handling experience in the territory in which you are located. Your CNA consultant handles healthcare professional liability claims exclusively and will bring in-depth knowledge and understanding to your individual situation.
  2. Acknowledge receipt of your notice of a claim by promptly contacting you to discuss the issues surrounding the incident in question. Be prepared to provide the CNA claims consultant with information regarding the claim. If CNA elects to open a claim file, they will inform you of the file number and the name of the consultant who will be managing the case on your behalf. CNA will acknowledge receipt whether or not a claim file is opened. Either way, CNA will provide the guidance you need to address any concerns as well as a means to keep in contact with us if your circumstances change.
  3. Review your insurance policy and advise you as to coverage issues that may be presented by the allegations. Occasionally, a claim is presented which falls outside of the coverages afforded to you in your policy. If this occurs, we will promptly confirm this with you by sending you either a Denial or a Reservation of Rights letter.
  4. Appoint qualified and experienced defense counsel to represent you when necessary, in the event of a lawsuit. CNA will discuss attorney options available to you that meet the individual needs of your specific situation.
  5. Supervise counsel's representation as long as the claim is pending, communicating directly with counsel and you as needed. Counsel is always instructed to regularly contact you directly to keep you informed throughout the process.
  6. Consult with defense counsel to consider the defense, settlement and resolution of the claim and advise you as to our recommendations.
  7. Keep you informed every step of the way. Claims may be active for several years with little or no activity. However, CNA is committed to timely and regular communications with you to keep you apprised of the current status of your claim. You are encouraged to call CNA at any time for an update or if you have any questions.
An insurance policy is much more than a piece of paper – it's a commitment to deliver the claims service that stands behind the policy. Our staff is highly trained in claim procedures and the handling of litigation. We encourage continuous education of our staff and provide on-site training by medical experts in specific areas of practice to ensure we have working knowledge of the profession, the standards, and the services being provided. We also stay up-to-date on the latest trends in claims and legal environment so you know we’re providing the most accurate information.

Our commitment is to:

  • Consult with you appropriately on all issues of defense, settlement, and claim resolution.
  • Make prompt assignments to defense counsel.
  • Bring healthcare experts into the evaluation process early.
  • Pay claims fairly and promptly while defending baseless claims aggressively.

If you have any questions about what to expect in the event of a claim, please call CNA at 800.262.4454.

To notify us, you may:

  • Submit online by clicking the "Make a claim" button at right
  • Print the form and fax to 1-800-758-3635
  • Print the form and mail to:
    Nurses Service Organization
    1100 Virginia Dr., Ste. 250
    Ft. Washington, PA 19034

You will receive a response within three business days from our receipt of your incident report. If you need to speak to someone immediately regarding an incident, please call 1-800-247-1500, Monday through Friday, from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., ET.

For NH residents only:

Any person who, with a purpose to injure, defraud or deceive any insurance company, files a statement of claim containing any false, incomplete or misleading information is subject to prosecution and punishment for insurance fraud, as provided in RSA 638:20. However, the lack of such a statement shall not constitute a defense against prosecution under RSA 638:20. N.H. R.S.A 402:82


This guide is provided for illustrative purposes only and is not a contract. It is intended to provide a general overview of the services described. Remember that only the policy can provide the actual description of services, terms, coverages, conditions, and exclusions. Program availability is subject to state insurance department approval.