Do nurses need their own malpractice insurance?

January 8, 2020

Nurses and midwives provide some of the most valuable services in this country, but because of the crucial nature of their work, they often face a lot of scrutiny and can be under intense pressure to carry out their work faultlessly. However, even the most careful and diligent nurse may make a mistake that could result in a claim being made against them. Faced with such a risk, it is crucial that every practicing nurse has the right insurance cover in place.

Malpractice insurance refers to types of insurance which protect you from improper or negligent professional behaviour. That means, if you administer the wrong medication, or don’t follow patient care procedures properly and the affected third party makes a compensation claim against you, malpractice insurance will protect you from a hefty financial burden.

What types of insurance do nurses need?

As a nurse, you are exposed to a number of unique risks specific to your working situation. Whether you are employed, a contractor or a self-employed nurse, knowing the range of insurance options available to you can help alleviate the stress of ‘what if?’

There are a number of insurance types that may be relevant to nurses in Australia including:

If you’re unsure which insurances would be ideal for your unique situation, it may help to speak with an insurance broker such as GSK Insurance. Our team of professionals have many years of experience with nursing insurance and can provide you with expert advice to help you feel confident that you have the right level of cover in place.

Professional Indemnity Insurance

Professional Indemnity Insurance for nurses protects them if claims arise due to advice or services they have given. If a third party suffers loss due to a nurse’s act, error or omission, they may take legal action against the nurse. No matter how diligent and careful you are, the nature of nursing work means mistakes or errors in judgement can occur.

Professional Indemnity Insurance for nurses is critical in situations such as if you administer the wrong medication, give incorrect advice or fail to follow patient care procedures properly. Professional Indemnity Insurance protects you from the heavy financial burden associated with compensation claims and legal fees. It also protects you from any legal fees if you are accused of negligence or error of judgement incorrectly.

Under Australian law nurses must have Professional Indemnity Insurance in order to practice. Many employers have an indemnity policy that covers the nurses they employ, however it is important that you check to see if it covers you adequately. Even if you are covered, it is a wise idea to consider taking out your own Personal Indemnity Insurance to ensure peace of mind if something unfortunately goes wrong. Self-employed or a sub-contracted nurses are required by law to have their own Personal Indemnity Insurance.

If you are unsure whether or not you have adequate cover under your employer, or are wondering what level of cover you should take out for yourself, it is a good idea to speak to an insurance broker. At GSK Insurance, we have extensive experience providing Personal Indemnity Insurance for nurses, and we can advise you on the best solution for your specific situation.

Public and Product Liability Insurance

Public Liability Insurance protects a person, business or contractor if a third party’s property is damaged or if your actions cause them injury. It helps cover the cost of the damages and any legal fees that may arise in the process.

Similarly, Product Liability Insurance protects you financially if any products you sell or maintain cause injury to a third party or damage to their property.

Nurses may need to take out their own Public and Product Liability Insurance if they are self-employed. Employed nurses may be covered under their employer’s insurance policy, but if you are unsure whether you should take out Public Liability Insurance, speak to one of the professionals at GSK Insurance: we’d be happy to point you in the right direction.

Personal Accident Insurance

Aside from the malpractice insurances described above, nurses should also consider if they need their own Personal Accident cover. Personal Accident Insurance compensates nurses if they experience injury or disability due to violent or accidental external events.