Professional liability for nurses

Professional liability – protection in case of carelessness on the job

Nurses often work under time pressure, carrying a high level of responsibility to patients. Against this background, consulting and treatment errors as well as carelessness cannot be excluded. If persons are injured as a result, high costs for compensation can be the consequence. Comprehensive professional liability specifically for nurses covers these costs. On Verivox you can compare different rates and buy insurance directly.

  1. Compare professional liability rates
  2. What does professional liability insurance cover??
  3. Integration of public liability
  4. Additional claims covered
  5. Rates according to employment
  6. What risks are covered?
  7. The sum insured
  8. Costs for professional liability

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Compare professional liability and find a cheap rate

The Verivox insurance comparison helps you find the right liability insurance for nurses or caregivers. Here's how:

  1. Determine scope of benefits: In the calculator, enter "health care and nursing" as the professional activity and then select the desired scope of coverage. The application form collects some key data about your operations, as well as any additional insurance you might want, in order to assess the potential risk and determine the scope of benefits needed.*
  2. Quote and advice: based on your data, our insurance experts will create an individual quote for you, send it to you and advise you on your liability insurance. How to find the best rate for you.
  3. Take out insurance: You can now conveniently conclude your desired tariff online.

*Employees can answer the question about annual turnover as they wish, as this figure is irrelevant here when determining premiums. On the other hand, it is important that the question about the care status is answered correctly with regard to specific activities. Different caregiving activities mean different risks, and thus differentiated potential for liability.

What does professional liability insurance cover?

Generally speaking, liability insurance protects the insured against the financial consequences of self-inflicted damage to a third party or an object. Professional liability insurance specifically covers financial disadvantages and so-called genuine financial losses resulting from carelessness or mistakes made during professional activities. As a rule, it protects freelancers and self-employed persons from financial bottlenecks or even costs that threaten their existence, since the insured person is liable for the damage incurred with all of his or her private and company assets, depending on the form of operation.

Passive legal protection insurance

To do this, the professional liability first checks the claims of the third party for legality and in the event of liability assumes the costs incurred up to the agreed amount of coverage. If the demands are excessive or not justified, the damage demands will be settled or contested. Professional liability thus acts in part like legal expenses insurance.

Insured losses

Professional liability insurance only pays for true financial losses, which is why it's also known as pecuniary loss liability. Financial damages due to wrong advice or a mistake during work are in the foreground. For example, if a nurse borrows a meter from a company and fails to return it in a timely manner, a claim may result. Because the company can't sublet the unit and face a loss of revenue. If a freelance nurse loses a patient's apartment key and then has to change the lock, the insurance sometimes covers the costs for this as well.

Integration of public liability – combined insurance coverage for nurses

In the medical field, costs often arise as a result of personal injury or property damage. If a patient is treated inadequately or receives the wrong medication, causing him or her to suffer damage and make a claim for compensation, the company liability insurance kicks in. This covers compensation for pain and suffering as well as subsequent costs such as continued payment of wages for lost work or for subsequent treatment. Costs can also be claimed for another appraisal, home help or medical aids. If, however, the injured party is self-employed and claims lost sales for lost business, an extension for true pecuniary loss again makes sense – because this is where professional liability kicks in.

For this reason, many professional liability insurances for nurses also include personal injury and property damage as well as resulting and real financial losses. Thus, the insurance coverage is comprehensive and usually covers the following claims:

Additionally covered claims for nurses

In the case of medical and healing professions, the focus of liability insurance is on personal injuries. If patients are harmed, for example, by incorrect medication, improper treatment or inadequate care, they can take legal action against the hospital or nurse for this and claim, for example, compensation for pain and suffering or the cost of subsequent treatment. If patients are absent from work due to the mistake, wage compensation claims can also be made as a result of the personal injury – so-called non-genuine pecuniary damages.

Property damage is also covered by a classic professional liability insurance, if it occurred during the exercise of the professional activity. This involves objects, furniture and technology that are broken or destroyed due to improper operation or clumsy behavior. This ranges from minor damage to patients – the patient's glasses that the nurse accidentally knocks off the bedside table and breaks – to costly property damage to the hospital itself. This includes damage to the hospital's equipment and furnishings. Many medical devices are technically sensitive and correspondingly expensive. If, for example, a nurse causes a malfunction due to incorrect operation, so that the equipment has to be repaired, she can be held liable for the repair costs – unless the employer's liability insurance includes the employees in the insurance coverage.

Non-genuine pecuniary losses are usually consequential costs arising from a previous personal injury or damage to property. These are also covered by the professional liability insurance under the basic tariff. For example, if a patient falls out of bed and breaks a leg due to incorrect positioning by the nurse, this is initially a personal injury claim. If the patient is self-employed and cannot go to work due to the leg fracture, further costs are incurred to compensate for the loss of sales – as a concomitant, the non-genuine pecuniary loss arises.

When is professional liability for nurses necessary??

Since private liability does not cover professional matters, it is advisable for nurses – and medical staff in general – to have professional liability insurance and business liability insurance, especially if they work as freelancers. This is because these individuals are primarily working with people for whose care, welfare and concern they assume responsibility. If you make a mistake due to carelessness or negligence, people can suffer serious damage, for which the nurse must be liable. The costs can run into the millions and thus threaten the existence of the company.

Depending on their employment or freelance work, nurses and health care professionals should choose different insurance coverage. In the Verivox comparison calculator you can compare different tariffs.

Nurses in public service

In hospitals, clinics and inpatient care facilities that are operated by the public sector, nurses are part of the public service. Thus, in the event of damage, the hospital or clinic is initially liable in accordance with Article 34 of the German Basic Law (GG).

However, the management is free to take recourse against the responsible person under certain conditions – for example, in the case of intentional or grossly negligent misconduct or malfeasance. In addition, nurses in public service may be liable to the hospital if they cause damage to the hospital's property in the course of their work – for example, damage the locking system. In these cases, nurses in the public sector should purchase service liability insurance. This covers all risks associated with the exercise of the profession in question, as well as damages to employers. The service liability insurance can be integrated into the private liability insurance as an additional module.

Nurses employed privately or by independent agencies

If, on the other hand, nurses are employed by a private employer or a church or non-profit organization, they should find out whether they already have a business or commercial liability insurance policy that includes the employees. If this is the case, they are still liable for damages to the employee and can also be taken in recourse. In this case, a separate professional liability policy is recommended.

Self-employed nurses

Self-employed nurses and caregivers, on the other hand, need a special professional liability for the medical and health care sector. Because they sometimes bear an even greater risk, as they are often left to their own devices when caring for sick, elderly or immobile patients. Not infrequently, their economic livelihood also depends on their work. Accordingly, professional liability insurance is essential for nurses as well as members of the nursing and medical professions or outpatient care services. However, this cannot be integrated into the private liability insurance policy. However, private liability can be included in this policy vice versa.

Tip: Nursing associations insure with

If you are an employed or self-employed nurse and are a member of a professional association – such as the German Nursing Association or the German Professional Association for Nursing Professions – you are usually insured for professional liability through them. In addition to insurance, members can benefit from other services. The premium amount is usually based on the gross salary; sometimes there are specific conditions for students, apprentices or self-employed persons.

Which risks are covered?

The risks that arise in the day-to-day work of nurses differ depending on the place of work and the employment relationship. For example, some insurance companies distinguish between inpatient and outpatient or partial inpatient activities. When taking out an insurance policy, individual risks and areas of responsibility are therefore discussed with the insurance advisor in order to determine the scope of benefits required. The most common insured risks include:

  • Care at the hospital or at the patient's place
  • Negligent mistreatment and incorrect medication
  • Violation of the duty of supervision
  • Criminal Justice Protection
  • Data protection violations (counts as property damage)
  • Damage in other European countries
  • Subsequent liability in the event of complete cessation of business

In addition, there are other risks that are covered or must be included in the insurance coverage depending on the insurer.

  • damage to immovable and movable property
  • Key risk including code cards
  • Use of animals for therapeutic purposes
  • Specialized care (intensive care u.a.)

In addition to these risks, it is important when selecting professional liability insurance that damage caused by negligence is also included in the insurance coverage. Here, too, it is worthwhile to seek advice from our insurance experts before taking out an insurance policy. Depending on the activities and previous insurances of the nurse, some additional inclusions of insurances are also useful.

Additional policies for nurses

Professional legal protection insurance covers the costs of legal disputes, for example with health insurance companies or employees. Those who operate their own care service can also have tax disputes covered by this insurance policy. The inclusion of private legal protection insurance is also possible.

If you run your own nursing practice, you can also protect your office and practice rooms, including equipment and furnishings, against damage caused by water, fire, storm, hail, theft and vandalism by taking out contents insurance. This covers the costs of inventory, furniture and medicines in stock within the scope of the sum insured. This usually includes the cost of firefighting and cleanup efforts, as well as new purchases.

The sum insured

The sum insured – also called the coverage amount – is the amount up to which your professional liability will pay for damages to people, property and assets. In addition to the professional status, the expected risks and the annual turnover as well as, in the case of practices, the size of the business and the number of insured employees play a role here.

  • Professional and nursing associations cover, for example, personal injury up to 5 million euros, property damage for 1 million euros and financial loss between 55 million euros.000 and 100.000 from. In addition, there is usually damage to rental property between 100.000 and 5 million euros.
  • For freelancers in care, joint lump sums are also levied for bodily injury and property damage in excess of 3 million euros.
  • Service liability insurance for civil servants and employees in the public sector also insure personal injury and property damage with 20 million euros depending on the profession.

In contrast to service liability insurance, liability insurance through an association or an independently contracted professional liability policy also charges excesses – also called deductibles – of 250 to 500 euros per claim or once a year.

Cost of professional liability for nurses

If you are a caregiver or nurse who is a public employee or has liability insurance through an association or carrier, you will typically pay a double-digit to small triple-digit annual amount for professional liability coverage.

For voluntary insurance policies for self-employed nurses, in addition to the amount insured, the risks chosen and the annual turnover also play a role in the calculation of the premium. Accordingly, the costs of a professional liability insurance can not be given here as a lump sum.

Verivox' insurance advice

Our Verivox insurance experts know the current insurance providers on the market and will be happy to advise you on your professional liability insurance without obligation. Whether you have questions about the comparison calculator, the individual rate contents, or need assistance completing the rate contract. We can help you on the free advice hotline.