Medical Indemnity Insurance

Understanding Doctors Medical Indemnity Insurance

The Medical Board of Australia requires all registered medical practitioners who provide health care or medical opinions in respect of the physical or mental health of any person, to ensure all aspects of their medical practice are covered by professional indemnity insurance (PII), or some alternative form of medical indemnity insurance cover that complies with the Board’s registration standard for professional indemnity insurance. The Board may audit a practitioner’s renewal declarations to ensure that they are complying with the Board’s registration standards and their obligations under the National Law.

Definition Of Medical Indemnity Insurance

The definition of Medical indemnity insurance for a doctor can perhaps be best defined as a contract of insurance that provides financial protection (to the extent set out in an insurance contract issued by a licensed General Insurer) to both medical practitioners and patients in circumstances where a patient sustains an injury (or adverse outcome) caused by medical misadventure, malpractice, negligence or an otherwise unlawful act.

Medical indemnity insurance may also be referred to as medical malpractice insurance or practitioner medical indemnity insurance or doctors professional indemnity insurance.

How Does Experien Insurance Services Help Doctors Arrange Medical Indemnity Insurance With Insurers ?

Experien General Insurance Services (Experien) is a national insurance brokerage firm. We help many doctors in the private sector with their medical indemnity insurance, and we give Doctors the valuable alternative to dealing directly (on their own) with insurers. We research the market to help find better coverage, pricing or other factors.  If you engage us for a review, then we will not charge you if don’t decide to use us any further.  A review is complimentary and without any obligations.

When doctors renew their indemnity insurance, many consider using Experien to review their policies. By comparing insurers, we have highlighted major differences in the pricing and features of different policies.  If you want to change insurers or take out coverage with an insurer we work with, then we can do all the work for you.

The benefits of using an adviser/broker for your Medical Indemnity Insurance

Experien has been advising doctors for several years as a broker on their medical malpractice insurance. Our clients have benefited greatly from our services which include:

  • Complimentary market comparisons – often finding improved features and better prices
  • Helping to change insurers – if a Doctor can be better off from doing so
  • Dispelling myths like the loss of retroactive cover if you move insurer
  • Helping you avoid mistakes like an out of date category of practice registered with your insurer
  • Optional claims support at no extra costs
  • Complimentary annual reviews
  • Access to a personal adviser who is available at any time
  • Obtaining group discounts in some circumstances
  • Access to our multi-policy reward

All generally at no additional charges on top of the insurance premium*

How can Experien help you?

Experien understands each insurer’s strengths and can help you by providing:

  • Access to our extensive research on pricing, policy features, service and the financial strength of the insurers
  • Transparency – making you aware of all your options and what you are getting for your premiums
  • Analysis of differences in policy coverage (and we ensure that you do not lose your retroactive cover or “tail” when changing insurers)
  • Technical advice, including how your individual medical indemnity insurance should be coordinated with medical indemnity insurance for your practice liability exposures.

Medical Indemnity Insurance FAQs

For which insurers do you act as a broker?

We compare policies across all insurers and we have brokerage arrangements with MIGA, MDA and Tego (underwritten by BHSI).

 

 

Why have doctors not shopped around in the past?

Most doctors stick with the insurance policy they are given for free when then are studying. As they progress their career into private practice, they may not have the time to consider if their policy is still the best solution for them. A broker can do all the work for you to ensure you get an improved outcome in terms of features, security, service and/or price.

What can go wrong if you deal directly with insurers?

  • You may miss out on policy features
  • You may forget to notify insurers of potential claims before changing insurers
  • Failure to update the following may result in gaps in cover:
    • increased billings often aren’t accounted for on renewal.
    • Your “retroactive” date (when your first started private work) may be incorrectly recorded.
    • The exact nature of your work/category of practice may have changed and not accounted for (e.g a GP starting to perform procedural work).

Can I only change insurers on my policy anniversary?

No. You can consider a change at any time of the year. You do not need to wait until your policy anniversary to move if you will be better off with an alternative insurer. We will consider any penalties you may face at your existing insurer and the potential savings and improved benefits at a new insurer before you consider whether or when to move insurers.

Why do medical malpractice insurance premiums vary so widely?

Insurance companies quote different premiums as a result of differences in:

  • Rating methodology,
  • Corporate strategy and underwriting appetite,
  • Claims experience, and
  • Capital management
  • And several other factors

What do I need to do to get a review?

We will prepare a comprehensive report for you which comes with no obligations or charges. We simply need to collect your:

  • practicing category,
  • annual billing amount,
  • retroactive date, and
  • details of past claims.

If you proceed to use us to change or take our insurance, we will complete the paperwork for you and get your cover accurately in place. We are then on call to help you throughout the year, including any claims that may arise and will repeat this process each year.

* In certain limited scenarios, which are not common, we may propose an explicit fee be charged in agreement with us beforehand

What factors can influence a doctor’s medical indemnity insurance premium ?

There is a wide range of factors, that differ from insurer to insurer, and can include (but are not limited to) :

  • Practicing category including whether or not procedures are performed or not and the mix of practice areas between higher and lower risk categories
  • How much work is done privately versus in an employer indemnified setting (eg public sector work)
  • How much work is done each year (billings are often used as a proxy)
  • How long the practitioner has been working for
  • The history of past regulatory claims and civil claims of the practitioner
  • If the practitioner is new to private practice
  • Whether the practitioner is eligible for Government support for their premiums or not

How much does medical indemnity insurance cost for medical practitioners ?

The range of professional indemnity prices from insurer to insurer for any one doctor can be wide.  Each medical practitioner is different and will have pricing based on their own unique circumstances and history as assessed by each insurer.  For example, a doctor working part time will pay less than if they worked full time. A broad illustration of pricing (per annum) ranges for selected individual doctors seen over 2019/2020 showed the following broad ranges below. Please note that pricing is not indicative of the broader occupation groups as they were based on specific individuals with specific levels of billings, history and other factors.

General Practitioner : $3,750 to  $8,000
Cardiologist interventional : $4,800 to $9,500
Anaesthetist : $5,000 to $10,000
GP – Procedural : $6,000 to $12,000
Radiologist : $14,000 to $23,000
Vascular Surgeon : $22,000 to $30,000
Orthopaedic Surgeon : $38,500 to $52,000
OBGYN : $65,000 to $92,000

General advice on this website has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on the advice, consider its appropriateness. Consider our disclosure documents, which include our FSG and each insurer’s Product Disclosure Statements (PDS) for insurance products.Please click here for our Financial Services Guide, which includes important regulatory disclosures regarding our license, remuneration and complaints handling.

 
Clients not satisfied with our services should contact our Complaints Officer. We expect that our procedures will provide a fair and prompt resolution to your complaint. If, however, you’re not satisfied with our final decision or if we haven’t been able to resolve the complaint to your satisfaction within 45 days, you may be able to take the complaint to the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA). AFCA provides fair and independent financial services complaint resolution that is free for consumers. You can contact the AFCA by 1800 931 678 (free call), info@afca.org.au or at www.afca.org.au.