We recently published an article on the new registration standards applying from 1 January 2016.


A critical aspect of the registration standard is the requirement for doctors to declare annually they will not practise unless they have professional indemnity insurance that meets the registration standard.

The key requirements of the doctors’ professional indemnity insurance are that it must:

  • Cover the doctor comprehensively – that is provide cover for work they have done in the past and work they intend to do
  • Provide appropriate cover for claims arising out of or as a consequence of activities that occurred in prior practice – i.e. retroactive cover
  • Continue to provide appropriate cover for claims that may be made after a doctor ceases practice or ceases some activities that were undertaken in the past – i.e. run-off cover.

We have had situations where doctors have been working in a field of practice for which they had not been insured and had inadvertently omitted to advise us of their change in circumstances – sometimes for very lengthy periods without appropriate cover.

We have also had several situations where doctors have expressed a desire not to effect retroactive or run-off cover.

So what are the risks?

The risks of not being covered or not being covered appropriately are obvious as the financial impact on a doctor funding an uninsured claim can be devastating.

The additional, and perhaps less understood risk, is the potential impact on a doctor’s registration for practising without (or without appropriate) professional indemnity insurance. The consequences of non-compliance with the registration standard can lead to disciplinary proceedings with the potential for conditions on registration or the registration being cancelled.

In view of the above it is extremely important that doctors take care to ensure they are at all times covered and at all times correctly covered. This will provide doctors with the confidence to practise knowing they will be supported in the event of adverse outcomes or complaints and it will also ensure their registration is not placed at risk.

Cover under your medical indemnity insurance with MIGA is dependent on your selected Category of practice. Your Category must accurately reflect your specific area of practice and the work you undertake (or have undertaken). In some cases your work may be covered by more than one Category or your cover may need to be extended to provide clarity that you are covered for specific aspects of your work.

It is particularly important that doctors tell us as soon as possible if they intend to undertake additional work (e.g. cosmetic work) or that the nature of their practice will change (e.g. entering private practice or graduating from a registrar training program).

If you have any concerns or queries about your cover please contact your Client Services Officer. They will be happy to discuss your insurance arrangements with reference to your past and present work.

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