Practitioner Indemnity Insurance Policy

Practitioner Indemnity Product Picture
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Practitioner Indemnity:

  • Professional Indemnity Insurance
  • Cover for Good Samaritan acts worldwide
  • Cover for legal defence costs

Avant covers you for:

  • Direct treatment of patients
  • Supervising others treating patients
  • Legal representation for medical board enquiries and other matters affecting ability to practice

Avant gives you access to:

  • Medico-legal case studies
  • Risk education webinars
  • Australia's largest 'in house' legal team of all medical defence organisations
  • Expert medico-legal advice when you need it, even in 24/7 emergencies

Cover is subject to approval and to the terms, conditions and exclusions of the policy, including any applicable waiting periods. To decide if a policy is right for you, please carefully read the Product Disclosure Statement which is available below or by contacting us on 1800 128 268.

Documents that may help you consider the policy:

As a healthcare practitioner, you deserve the best medico-legal resources and expertise available to support you.

Our Practitioner Indemnity Insurance Policy is designed to give you flexibility and choice in relation to your insurance, as your needs will change as your career progresses.

With a medical indemnity policy from Avant, you will have peace of mind in the event you, as a practitioner, are exposed to claims arising from:

  • Direct treatment of patients
  • Supervising others treating patients
  • Legal representation for Medical Board Inquiries and other matters affecting ability to practice

We understand the risks you face as a health practitioner. Whether you are an intern, doctor in training, hospital employed doctor, general practitioner, or a specialist, Avant’s Practitioner Indemnity Insurance Policy provides you with the depth of cover you need. 

We can support you at every stage of your medical career.

Why Avant?

As Australia’s leading medical defence organisation, Avant offers medical professionals more expertise, more claims experience, and now, an extended range of insurance products spanning medical indemnity, cover for medical practices, health and, income, life and total permanent disablement.

We are a member-owned, not-for-profit organisation existing solely for our members and over 60,000 health practitioners and students in Australia insure with Avant.

We offer:

  • Medico-legal and risk management advisory services
  • Support, advice and legal representation in the event of a claim or complaint
  • Education, research and training programs in collaboration with medical associations, colleges and training providers.

 

Why you need insurance as a Doctor in Training

You’re making your way in your medical career: you’ve done much in the past couple of years, taking on more responsibility, supervising others and concentrating and investing in your chosen specialty. So you should be committing to the Medical Defence Organisation (MDO) that will offer you comprehensive resources, support and risk advice - Avant.

Why having Practitioner Indemnity Insurance is important
Disciplinary, coronial and legal expense claims made by Doctors in Training have doubled in the last decade.# Situations where you may be exposed include:

  • Contractual disputes with your employer
  • Investigations brought by the Medical Board, or a complaints unit
  • A coronial or criminal inquiry
  • Unpaid healthcare
  • Mandatory reporting of another healthcare professional or incident

Why go with Avant?
You can count on us for quality medico-legal expertise and protection at every stage of your career:

  • The longer you are a member, the greater the reward: up to 15% discount for eligible members with our Loyalty Reward Plan (LRP) in 2013*    
  • Support from the largest ‘in-house’ legal team of all medical defence organisations in Australia
  • Medico-legal advice when you need it, even 24/7 in emergencies

Plus, as an SRMO/DIT member, you get:

  • Eligibility to apply for the Doctor in Training Research Scholarships program ($300,000 worth of scholarships offered in 2013)
  • Young doctor specific risk management education
  • Young doctor publications

#Source: Avant claims data 2002–2012

Why you need insurance as a hospital employed doctor

Working in the public health system means that you will generally be indemnified by your employer for medical negligence claims.

Most hospital employed doctors take out their own cover because the hospital’s cover doesn’t include all areas of risk.

Situations where you would be glad you had insurance with Avant include:

  • A dispute with your employer
  • Investigations brought by the Medical Board, the complaints unit or a court
  • A dispute that arose during a training program
  • A coronial or criminal inquiry
  • Your hospital has a conflict of interest representing you.

Why you need insurance as a GP?

As a GP, you must feel confident that you have the best indemnity protection both for yourself and, if necessary, for your practice.

In general practice you need to be covered for:

  • Direct treatment of patients
  • Supervising others treating patients
  • Legal representation for Medical Board inquiries and other matters affecting your ability to practice.

Are you moving into private practice for the first time?

If so, Avant’s Practitioner Indemnity Insurance Policy provides insurance for you with up to 50% off your insurance premium in the first year of private practice and up to 25% off your premium in the second year of private practice (conditions apply).

Are you a practice owner? Do you need practice cover?

As a practice owner, you wear two hats. In addition to your own work, you need to be covered for:

  • Failure of practice protocols, including systemic failures that could result in multiple claims
  • Liability assumed as a partner or employer
  • Breaches of patient privacy by staff
  • Errors by unsupervised practice staff, or where the patient sees multiple doctors.

If you meet one of the following criteria, it is likely you may have practice exposures that require cover under our Practice Medical Indemnity Insurance Policy:

  • Are you a corporation or partnership, rather than a sole proprietor?
  • Do you employ or contract nurses, allied health practitioners, administration staff or doctors?
  • Do you rent rooms to other healthcare practitioners?
  • Do you provide administrative services to other healthcare practitioners?

View further information about our Practice Medical Indemnity Insurance Policy here.

Premium Support Scheme (PSS) and High Cost Claim Scheme (HCCS)

In 2003 the Commonwealth Government introduced a package to help strengthen and support the medical indemnity industry for insurers, doctors and the community. The package includes the Premium Support Scheme and the High Cost Claims Scheme.

Under the PSS, if a doctor's gross medical indemnity costs exceed 7.5% of their gross private medical income, they will pay only 30% of the premium cost beyond this threshold. For further information, please read the Premium Support Scheme Terms and Conditions.

The HCCS reduces the cost of large claims to medical indemnity insurers by reimbursing 50% of the cost of a claim costing over a certain amount up to the limit of the practitioner's cover.

Why you need insurance as a specialist

In the age of specialisation, you need a medical defence organisation (MDO) who understands the risks and responsibilities you face.

As your career progresses and you gain experience in your field, we can give you the confidence and support to make difficult decisions.

As a specialist, you must feel confident that you have the best indemnity protection both for yourself and, if necessary, for your practice. If you’re employed at a hospital, your employer will insure you against negligence.  If you’re working as a contractor, cover for negligence usually only extends to public patients.

It’s important to have your own cover, both for your own practice and for all those things the hospital doesn’t cover you for.

Are you moving into specialist practice for the first time?

If so, Avant’s Practitioner Indemnity Insurance Policy provides insurance for you with up to 50% off your insurance premium in the first year of private practice and up to 25% off your premium in the second year of private practice (conditions apply).

Why do I need insurance?

As a hospital consultant or VMO, you need cover for:

  • Medical board investigations
  • Good Samaritan acts.

In private specialist practice you need to be covered for:

  • Direct treatment of patients
  • Supervising others treating patients
  • Legal representation for VMO and employment disputes
  • Legal representation for Medical Board inquiries and other matters affecting your ability to practice.

Specialist practice owners

If you own a specialist practice you may need practice cover in addition to practitioner cover. You may need to be covered for:

  • Failure of practice protocols, including systemic failures that could result in multiple claims
  • Liability assumed as a partner or employer
  • Breaches of patient privacy by staff
  • Errors by unsupervised practice staff, or where the patient sees multiple doctors.

Do I need practice cover?

If you meet one of the following criteria, it is likely you may have practice exposures that require cover under our Practice Medical Indemnity Insurance Policy:

  • Are you a corporation or partnership, rather than a sole proprietor?
  • Do you employ or contract nurses, allied health practitioners, administration staff or doctors?
  • Do you rent rooms to other healthcare practitioners?
  • Do you provide administrative services to other healthcare practitioners?

View further information about our Practice Medical Indemnity Insurance Policy here.

Premium Support Scheme (PSS) and High Cost Claim Scheme (HCCS)

In 2003 the Commonwealth Government introduced a package to help strengthen and support the medical indemnity industry for insurers, doctors and the community. The package includes the Premium Support Scheme and the High Cost Claims Scheme.

Under the PSS, if a doctor's gross medical indemnity costs exceed 7.5% of their gross private medical income, they will pay only 30% of the premium cost beyond this threshold. For further information, please read the Premium Support Scheme Terms and Conditions.

The HCCS reduces the cost of large claims to medical indemnity insurers by reimbursing 50% of the cost of a claim costing over a certain amount up to the limit of the practitioner's cover.

Why you need insurance if you retire or take a break

When you retire or take parental leave, you need run-off indemnity insurance for incidents that may have occurred during your career but have not yet been notified to insurers.

The Run-Off Cover Scheme (ROCS) is a government funded insurance policy introduced to ensure that retiring doctors aged 65 or over, who have retired from private practice or all medical practice, get medical indemnity cover that is secure, free-of-charge and based on your last cover. You can learn more about ROCS in the combined financial services guide and product disclosure statement.

If you are not eligible for ROCS and require run-off cover, you will need an Avant Practitioner Indemnity Run-Off Insurance Policy (PIRO). You can read more about this policy here.

Additionally if you plan to practice for free, you will not be covered for claims arising from this work by the ROCS scheme. If you plan to do this, you need to take out a Practitioner Indemnity Insurance Policy.

What your cover includes

Our Practitioner Indemnity Insurance Policy includes cover for:

  • $20 million civil cover for private practice where you declare your annual private billings
  • Cover for legal fees in the following matters:
  • Defending a prosecution or responding to investigations brought by a registration board or tribunal, registration complaints unit, criminal court, coronial court (includes legal costs that you may be ordered to pay)
  • Pursing or defending a dispute with your employer
  • Defending or pursuing certain defamation matters  ($20k deductible)
  • Pursuing or defending patient AVOs
  • Pursuing or defending a complaint from a training program
  • Taxation audits
  • Automatic cover overseas for:
  • Good Samaritan acts
  • Practice outside of Australia for 120 days, or up to two years if you are in a training program (excludes USA).

Cover is subject to the terms and conditions (and exclusions) of the policy. Please read and consider the PDS and policy wording which is available here or by phoning us on 1800 128 268.

Optional covers

You can apply for the optional cover package under your Practitioner Indemnity Insurance Policy which includes:

Personal Expenses Cover

The policy will cover (up to the sub-limit specified in the policy schedule) reasonable travel and accommodation expenses for attending a court, tribunal, inquiry, investigation, inquest, or administrative or disciplinary proceeding covered under the policy in respect of a claim or matter covered under Part A or Part B, Division 1 of the policy.

Interruption to Earnings Cover

The policy will cover lost earnings or income (up to the sub-limit specified in the policy schedule) incurred during the policy period for attending (at Avant’s request) a court, tribunal, inquiry, investigation, inquest or disciplinary proceeding covered under Part A or Part B, Division 1 of the policy. Note we do not cover you for loss of earnings on the first day of attendance. Payment for subsequent days is paid for each half day at the rates specified as the sum insured in the policy schedule.

Avant now offers health insurance to doctors

Avant acquired The Doctors’ Health Fund in May 2012 and now offers personalised and flexible health cover specially designed to suit your needs.

The Doctors’ Health Fund Top Cover Hospital product (Top Cover) offers one of the best gap cover in Australia, delivering an unrestricted choice of doctor and greater benefits which are based on the AMA List of medical services and fees.

Membership is open to health practitioners and medical students.

View further information about The Doctors’ Health Fund health insurance products.

Download the policy booklet

 Download the policy booklet  to view the full details of the Avant Practitioner Indemnity Insurance Policy.

To join Avant contact our Member Services team on 1800 128 268 or complete our online application form available here.

How to join
Renew your insurance online
Loyalty reward plan
Doctors' Health Fund. Read more
DIT Research Scholarship