All medical indemnity insurance policies cover personal liabilities that might arise out of your provision of healthcare (including legal costs) by way of civil claims (that is, claims in medical negligence), and to a more variable extent, non-civil claims (such as coronial inquests, professional or disciplinary investigations, employment disputes – namely, anything other than requests for compensation).
Medical indemnity insurance in Australia typically provide $20 million cover, however different policies apply different sub-limits to non-civil claims – meaning that specific cover will vary between policies. Some policies, not all, also include cover for exposures such as costs towards protecting your reputation (eg. in the event of adverse social media) and pursuing or defending defamation claims, Medicare audits, tax audits, employment disputes, as well as cover for statutory penalties (such as privacy breaches) and loss of income if you are required to attend court.
Be aware that some policies impose excesses/deductibles in certain circumstances which must be paid if assistance is required under your policy. Some medical indemnity insurers cover the treatment of public hospital patients if you are not otherwise indemnified. If you provide any medical services overseas, even in the form or teaching or lecturing, you should check with your insurer if you are covered.
Medical indemnity insurance in Australia is provided on a ‘claims made’ basis, which means you are required to notify your insurer as soon as you become aware of a claim (or of circumstances which a reasonable person would expect may result in a claim). Any claims made under one policy will continue to be covered by that policy even if you switch insurers.
It is also a requirement that your insurance includes adequate retroactive cover for all prior practice in Australia, so it is important you check the retroactive date under your policy (also known as “tail cover”).