If you buy insurance, keep quiet about it

If you weigh all the pros and cons and decide to purchase your own professional liability insurance, should you let your employer know? No. Just keep that fact to yourself, experts advise.

Your employer will not automatically know you have your own coverage except when you ask the employer to pay for it as part of a benefits package. Otherwise, there is no easy way for the employer to find out and no reason for you to volunteer that information, explains Janet S. Meyer, BSN, JD, a consultant with MMI Risk Management Resources in San Francisco.

If you disclose that information, the employer could tell the defense attorney when a malpractice case arises, and that information could make its way to the plaintiff's attorney. The employer might have an incentive to let the information slip out if it seems some liability might be deflected from the employer to you. If no one knows you have your own coverage, there may be no interest in naming you in the lawsuit.

"There's no reason to advertise your decision," Meyer says. "You don't drive around with a bumper sticker on your car that says, 'I have good car insurance, so be sure to sue me if we have an accident.'"