Blog How Important is Medical Indemnity Insurance for Medical Professionals?

How Important is Medical Indemnity Insurance for Medical Professionals?

Every professional needs to consider what types of insurance they need in order to work, but medical practitioners need to have the right cover. If legal action is taken against a healthcare worker, it can result in compensation pay-outs worth millions of pounds. Due to this, it’s vital to have the right type and the right level of cover in place.


What is Medical Indemnity Insurance?

Medical indemnity cover is a type of professional insurance that protects medical practitioners from allegations of negligence or malpractice. If a patient is misdiagnosed, prescribed the wrong treatment, or suffers consequences due to a poorly carried out surgery, they’re likely to take legal action against the person or healthcare provider responsible.

Medical indemnity insurance protects the medical professional in these instances and covers the cost of legal advice and representation, as well as any compensation that needs to be paid.

Is Medical Indemnity Insurance Compulsory?

If you work solely for the NHS or HSC, you are likely to be covered against medical malpractice claims by one of their in-house clinical negligence schemes. However, it’s worth noting that this cover is typically limited to malpractice claims only and doesn’t provide medico-legal or personal regulatory support or advice relating to work you have undertaken, even if it is for the NHS or HSC.

Due to this, medical professionals such as surgeons and consultants working within the NHS or HSC are usually advised to take out their own medical indemnity insurance cover to access extended benefits and a better level of protection.

What if You Have an Independent Practice?

It’s not unusual for some medical practitioners to work solely in independent practice or to work for both the NHS (or HSC) and independent practice, in which case, taking out medical indemnity insurance is vital. In fact, the General Medical Council (GMC) stipulates that “adequate and appropriate insurance or indemnity” must be in place for surgeons operating independently, even if this only extends to medico-legal work or even if surgeries are carried out in NHS or HSE hospitals and clinics.

This means that surgeons or other medical professionals who work independently will need to have their own cover in place in order to practice in the UK. Fortunately, it’s easy to find out more about medical indemnity insurance. With Incision Indemnity, for example, you can access all the advice and assistance you need relating to indemnity insurance. As specialist insurance providers, Indemnity Insurance provides bespoke solutions for surgeons working within the NHS (or HSC) and/or as part of private practice. What’s more – cover includes professional indemnity insurance, public liability, and cyber liability insurance, commercial legal protection, and medical professional liability insurance.

What Happens If You Don’t Have Medical Indemnity Insurance?

Working without the right level of insurance coverage leaves you vulnerable to claims made against you and can have serious consequences for your professional reputation. Without medical indemnity insurance, you won’t be able to practice independently, which means you will lose practicing privileges at independent hospitals and clinics. Furthermore, if the GMC believes you are practicing without the appropriate level of insurance in place, they can suspend or revoke your surgeon’s license.

In addition to this, you will be personally liable for any claims made against you. As well as funding the cost of a legal defense, you will need to fund any compensation pay-outs which need to be made.

As you can see, the risks of practicing without medical indemnity insurance are simply too high to be justifiable. However, medical indemnity cover remains a cost-effective solution to the legal vulnerabilities associated with practicing as a medical professional. By taking out the right type and level of cover, you can ensure that you’ll have all the protection you need when working in the UK.

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