In Australia, the risk of medical practices not being insured, being underinsured or not having the correct cover to meet their needs is something we see all too often. This can have an impact on the practice and its staff and serious financial consequences for practice owners. Having the right protection in place makes all the difference when the unexpected occurs.
Unfortunately, the adequacy of the practice’s cover often only comes into focus when an incident has actually occurred and this is when the policy cover will be scrutinised. Unfortunately, it’s already too late if the practice isn’t covered or the cover is simply inadequate. This is both unfortunate and unnecessary given the nature of medical practice, where the ‘unexpected’ shouldn’t be too ‘unexpected’.
Understanding the nature of cover, retroactive cover and any excess or limits that apply is very important for any business and especially those providing medical services.
For example, ask yourself these questions:
“Do I have cover for an auto reinstatement of the policy limit under my policy?” What is that limit?
Some insurers deal with this differently. You might think you have a $2,000,000 limit of cover but, in fact, you have a $1,000,000 limit plus a $1,000,000 reinstatement, which could put the practice or its owners at financial risk and liable for meeting the shortfall if a claim exceeded the $1,000,000 cover limit.
It’s important you check your policy so you are clear about how much your insurer is liable to pay and under what circumstances.
An area of cover which is often misunderstood is exactly what retroactive cover applies. ‘Claims made’ insurance covers the practice for claims made during the policy period arising from incidents or circumstances that occurred after the retroactive date. Given the nature of medical practices and how ownership may change over time, often several times, understanding the practice’s retroactive risk and ensuring it is adequately covered is critical.
At MIGA we pride ourselves on the quality of advice we provide. When you insure with us, you can expect we will ask you lots of questions so that we can fully understand your situation, provide relevant advice and ensure the cover we provide will meet your needs. We have a market leading product which is reviewed and updated regularly to capture claims and market trends so our clients can practice with confidence. We strive to ensure that the cover we offer is clear and unambiguous so you understand the cover you are purchasing.
If you are unsure whether or not your medical business needs its own medical indemnity insurance cover, below is a simple checklist that may help. If any of the statements below are ‘true’ for your practice, it is likely your business needs its own cover:
Does your practice:
- Provide health care treatment, advice or services via a trust, partnership or practice company?
- Employ or contract health care professionals, including doctors?
- Employ administrative staff to support the doctors and other professionals working in the business?
- Employ staff, including doctors, who are insured by different insurers?
- Provide health care services via other companies or from more than one location?
- Engage locums and other temporary staff?
- Provide services to doctors and other health care professionals for a fee?
- Lease its facilities to other health care professionals?
- Own or lease machinery and/or medical equipment to provide the services (e.g. diagnostic equipment)?
Ensure your practice is appropriately covered.
We encourage you to contact us so that we can help to review your practice’s insurance needs, or your current insurance arrangements if currently covered, at no cost. Personal insurance advice is only a phone call away.
Download our free e-book
Professional indemnity insurance for Healthcare Businesses – Why it should be on your radar