With the average payout for serious injuries exponentially rising in the U.S., APRNs are advised to purchase liability and malpractice insurance covers. This paper analyzes the need for identifying the standard malpractice coverage. The analysis aims to prove that the most appropriate malpractice insurance cover for APRNs is an occurrence policy since it covers alleged acts of negligence occurring when the policy was in effect.
It is essential for a practicing APRN to purchase a malpractice insurance to safeguard oneself against liabilities and costly settlements. Research studies have identified average payouts for serious injuries by APRNs in the U.S., which stand at U.S. $1.2 million and $200,000 for minor cases (Radin & Goldwasser, 2011). Covering these expenses out of one’s pocket is expensive. Moreover, there is a risk of having to pay multiple times a year. Furthermore, taking a liability and malpractice insurance cover enables APRNs to practice with freedom and integrity.
Ordinarily, one does not need an insurance coverage separate from what the organization he or she is working for provides. However, a particular nature and extent of coverage will determine whether it is necessary (Neal, Eastman, & Peterson, 2009). These factors include the type of an insurance cover provided by the organization, its limits, amount of legal costs, financial strength of the insurer, and individual’s responsibilities in the event of wrongful act, claim or a suit (CMF Group, 2001). The core advantages of having a separate insurance cover are that an individual will have his or her legal counsel with all expenses covered. He or she may secure coverage even for non-work related incidents (Radin & Goldwasser, 2011). The major disadvantage of taking a separate cover is that it requires significant additional personal expenditures.
The standard malpractice coverage recommended for APRNs is an occurrence policy. It covers the APRN for liabilities in the course of the execution of professional responsibilities. Such professionals are advised to take the occurrence policy since it covers for alleged acts of negligence when it was in effect (CMF Group, 2001). Even if the APRN leaves the organization, practice, or even terminates the policy in case a suit is brought for offenses committed when the cover was in effect, the one will be protected, unlike when the individual has the claims-made policy that requires the APRN to purchase a tail to remain covered.
Additional options of coverage for special circumstances include personal injury and personal liability covers. The first covers costs and injuries other than bodily harm, including malicious prosecution, false arrests or imprisonment, wrongful eviction or an intrusion into a private occupancy, and a damage to reputation from libelous or slanderous acts. The personal liability policy covers injuries that occur because of negligence in a non-work related environmeent. It does not cover professional liability.
The standard rates of coverage amount to U.S. $560 per year for a U.S. $1 million occurrence policy, with a possibility of the U.S. $6 million aggregate occurrence policy (Radin & Goldwasser, 2011). As for the claims-made policy, the standard rates average from the U.S. $660 per year for a $1 million cover to U.S. $6 million aggregate costs (Radin & Goldwasser, 2011). However, the rates vary depending on the state, insurance provider, and the nature of occupation among many other factors.
Once I start practicing, I will take a $560 per year for a $1 million/$6 million occurrence policy cover. I will choose this option because I endeavor to be covered for all the time I will be practicing, even if I change the organization I work for or terminate the occurrence policy.
In conclusion, it is evident that it is essential for APRNs to purchase malpractice insurance covers. It will not only protect against risks and losses arising from the payment of damages, but will also enable the APRN to practice with integrity. The choice of whether to take a separate insurance coverage for an individual is dependent on factors that determine the satisfaction with the level of coverage provided. The recommended malpractice cover for APRNs is the occurrence policy. If professionals purchase it, they will be covered indefinitely for acts of negligence that took place when the insurance cover was in effect.
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