Should nurses carry additional house insurance, besides malpractice insurance, to protect them against lawsuits? If so, what is it called?
Nancy Brent replies:
You are confusing home insurance, purchased to pay the owner against any loss due to fire, flooding and/or tornados, as examples, with that of professional liability insurance. Professional liability insurance is purchased to provide the policy owner the nurse, for example with an attorney who will defend the insured in a lawsuit when a covered event (e.g., professional negligence) is alleged against that named insured. The insurance policy also provides a stated amount that will be paid to the plaintiff (the person bringing the lawsuit against the nurse) if a verdict is rendered against the nurse. For example, the policy might state that the coverage is for $1 million/$3 million dollars (aggregate). Generally speaking, those figures reflect that each lawsuit filed against the named insured for the year of the policy would be covered for $1 million dollars but only up to $3 million for the policy year.
It would be helpful for you to contact your insurance agent to discuss this issue, and any other questions you have, concerning both your house insurance and your professional liability insurance coverage. Also discussing your concerns with an attorney or nurse attorney in your state can help you decide how best to handle any protections that might be available to you to protect your assets, such as your home, in the event of a lawsuit against you.