People are always shocked to hear that nursing homes, responsible for the care and safety of 1.3 million Americans, are not always required to carry liability insurance. When a loved is injured as a result of negligence or abusive actions on the part of nursing home staff, a lack of insurance often deters them from pursuing a lawsuit, even when the injuries result in death.
Expensive Policies Deter Nursing Homes Focused on Financial Bottom Line
In Illinois, there is no law requiring a facility to carry nursing home liability insurance. Among other factors, insurance rates are based off of Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) inspection reports, specifically in areas relating to neglect.
An insurance industry veteran with 34 years experience as a high level executive underwriting liability insurance policies for nursing homes spoke with Levin & Perconti this week to share insight on the current climate of the nursing home liability insurance market. The expert told our attorneys that insurers are aware that no nursing home will leave an inspection with zero violations, but that the per bed rate relies heavily on consistently low violations in areas of resident neglect and safety. Insurers are also interested in the number of past lawsuits against a nursing home, as well as the money spent to settle or try these cases. Even employee turnover and legislation affecting nursing home lawsuits in the state in which they are located are factored into a decision to insure a nursing home and how much to charge them for a policy. In short, it is in the nursing home’s best financial interests to maintain a safe environment dedicated to resident care. As we know from nearly 30 years in elder abuse law, nursing homes have a hard time meeting this standard.
The downside to such a strict review of a nursing home’s safety history is that if the nursing home is even granted a policy, those that have questionable pasts are quoted higher per bed rates, as well as higher deductibles per claim received. With Illinois allowing nursing homes to avoid carrying liability insurance, plenty of them have chosen to do so. Nursing homes without insurance can essentially shrug their shoulders and escape responsibility for abhorrent actions by saying they do not have the money to pay for damages arising from a lawsuit. Families are left with no choice but to walk away, sometimes without as much as an apology.
Our Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Attorneys Can Help
As nursing home abuse and neglect attorneys since 1992, we have worked with far too many families who have been discouraged when a nursing home whom has caused harm to a loved one tells them they are uninsured and therefore unable to do anything. We can help. When a lawsuit is filed, Levin & Perconti is able to obtain records regarding financial dealings and work our way through a nursing home’s hidden corporate network, often discovering that behind a seemingly “stand alone” nursing home is a web of companies and a trail of money. Do not let being told your loved one’s nursing home doesn’t have insurance deter you from pursuing legal action. Let our experience successfully fighting nursing homes work for you. Our services are free unless we recover money for you. Call us now at 312-332-2872 to speak to an attorney or fill out our online case evaluation form.