• COVID-19: Indemnity: FAQs

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  • Summary of COVID-19 vaccination cover

    Medical practitioner

    Avant vaccine cover - practitioners

    Medical practice

    Avant vaccine cover - practices

    Intern

    Avant vaccine cover - interns

    Student

    Avant vaccine cover - students
  • Avant practitioner indemnity insurance


    • Yes. Avant’s Practitioner Indemnity Insurance Policy is designed to cover you subject to the full terms, conditions and exclusions of the policy.

      You are covered for healthcare that is consistent with your qualifications and experience.

      Please ensure that you notify us of any incidents that you believe may become a claim in the future.


    • Yes. Avant’s Practitioner Indemnity Insurance Policy is designed to cover you in these situations subject to the full terms, conditions and exclusions of the policy.

      You are covered for healthcare that is consistent with your qualifications and experience.

      Please ensure that you notify us of any incidents that you believe may become a claim in the future. If in doubt, please contact us.


    • Your Avant Practitioner Indemnity Insurance Policy will only cover your practice staff for claims against them for administering the vaccine if you meet our definition of ‘sole practitioner’ (i.e. if there is no other healthcare professional in the same speciality as you, employed or otherwise working in the place where you practice (except a locum)).

      If you are not a sole practitioner, your practice’s staff are not covered, and the practice may need cover under our Avant Practice Medical Indemnity Policy. Please contact us for more information.

      However, even if you are not a sole practitioner and a claim is made against you personally for the actions of those you are supervising (e.g. a practice nurse administering the vaccine under your supervision), then the Avant Practitioner Indemnity Insurance Policy will cover you in this situation, provided the person you are supervising holds their own indemnity insurance.

      Cover is otherwise subject to the full terms, conditions and exclusions of your Avant Practitioner Insurance Policy.


    • Generally, no, you do not have to tell Avant if you are administering the COVID-19 vaccine, except in one situation.

      You do need to tell us if:

      • You usually work in the public system, and
      • You are administering the vaccine to private patients outside the public system.

      In this case, you need to ensure that you have cover for healthcare in private practice noted on your policy.

      If you are employed in the public system, including medical students and interns/RMO (PGY2), we understand that indemnity will be provided by your employer under one of the state indemnity schemes. You don't need to tell us if you are vaccinating public patients within your usual hours.

      If you work in the public system other than as an employee, you should check whether your workplace will provide indemnity.

      Otherwise, if you work in private practice or you are indemnified by your public system workplace, you do not need to tell us that you are administering the COVID-19 vaccine. You are covered for healthcare that is consistent with your qualifications and experience. Cover is subject to the full terms, conditions and exclusions of your Avant Practitioner Indemnity Insurance Policy.


    • Yes, subject to the full terms, conditions and exclusions of the policy.

      Your Avant Practitioner Indemnity Insurance Policy provides cover if you are providing healthcare outside of your usual workplace, provided that you have informed us of your private billings.

      Please be aware that you may need separate public liability cover in some instances. Feel free to contact us to discuss.


    • Yes.  Avant’s Practitioner Indemnity Insurance Policy  covers you for any patient complaints which arise if you were unaware that the vaccine fridge was not working properly.

      For your practice machinery breakdown to be covered, you would need to consider an  Avant Business Insurance Policy . Please contact us if you would like to know more about this. Also, note cover is otherwise subject to the full terms, conditions and exclusions of your Avant Practitioner Insurance Policy.

    • Yes. Your Avant Practitioner Indemnity Insurance Policy covers you for claims and complaints made against you personally in relation to healthcare provided by someone who you are supervising (e.g. a practice nurse administering the vaccine in the practice under your supervision).

      However, this person will also need to hold their own indemnity insurance.

      Cover is otherwise subject to the full terms, conditions and exclusions of your Avant Practitioner Insurance Policy.


    • Yes. Your Avant Practitioner Indemnity Insurance Policy is designed to cover you in this situation.

      You do not have to see the patient before they receive the vaccination to have cover if there is a claim made against you personally for healthcare provided to that patient.

      Cover is otherwise subject to the full terms, conditions and exclusions of your Avant Practitioner Insurance Policy.


    • Yes.  Avant’s Practitioner Indemnity Insurance Policy  is designed to provide cover in these situations, subject to the full terms, conditions and exclusions of the policy. Please ensure that you notify us of any incidents that you believe may become a claim or complaint in the future.

    • Yes.  If you are working in private practice, then the Avant Practitioner Indemnity Insurance Policy  will provide this cover, noting that cover is otherwise subject to the full terms, conditions and exclusions of your Avant Practitioner Insurance Policy.

      If you are employed or otherwise working in the public system and have indemnity through your employer, then you should have cover for any complaints that may arise from this situation from your employer.

    • Yes. We recognise that accidents happen. 

      Avant’s Practitioner Indemnity Insurance policy is designed to provide you with this cover should this situation arise, subject to the full terms, conditions and exclusions of the policy.

      If you have any concerns or need to notify us of an incident, please contact us.

       

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    Avant practice medical indemnity insurance


    • Yes. Avant’s Practice Medical Indemnity policy is designed to cover your practice and medical staff in these situations.

      Please note there is no cover for medical practitioners as this will be covered under their individual practitioner policy.

      It is important that you confirm if you have adequate public liability cover in place to protect you in these situations. Avant offers several different public liability coverage options depending on your situation. Please contact us if you would like more information.

      Also, note cover is otherwise subject to the full terms, conditions and exclusions of your Avant Practice Insurance Policy.


    • Yes. Your  Avant Practice Medical Indemnity policy  will cover the practice and its medical staff if they provide healthcare services away from the practice. This cover does not extend to medical practitioners as their personal indemnity insurance would cover this.

      Please be aware that you may need separate public liability cover in some instances, feel free to contact us to discuss. Also, note that cover is otherwise subject to the full terms, conditions and exclusions of your Avant Practice Insurance Policy.

    • Your  Avant Practice Medical Indemnity policy  provides cover for patient complaints which arise in this situation provided you were not aware that the vaccine fridge was not working properly. Please note that cover is otherwise subject to the full terms, conditions and exclusions of your Avant Practice Insurance Policy.

      However, there is no cover for the machinery breakdown itself through your practice policy. For this to be covered, you would need to consider an  Avant Business Insurance Policy . Please contact us if you would like to know more about this.

    • Yes, if your healthcare services normally involve the administration of a vaccine e.g. a GP practice, vaccination services are covered.

      Please contact us if you would not normally do this type of healthcare so that we can discuss this cover with you. Also, note that cover is otherwise subject to the full terms, conditions and exclusions of your Avant Practice Insurance Policy.

    • Yes. Avant’s Practice Medical Indemnity policy provides cover for your practice should a patient complaint arise regarding the staff member unintentionally passing COVID-19 to a patient.

      Also, note that cover is otherwise subject to the full terms, conditions and exclusions of your Avant’s Practice Insurance Policy.

      It is important that you confirm if you have adequate public liability cover in place to protect the practice in these situations.

      We also recommend that our practices endeavour to follow the advice of government, their places of work, relevant professional bodies, colleges and societies, as well as peak decision-making bodies like the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee.


    • Yes.  Avant’s Practice Medical Indemnity policy  provides cover for a patient complaint against the practice. Please contact us for information and advice for best ways to manage this situation within your practice as we have numerous support services available to you.

      Also, note that cover is otherwise subject to the full terms, conditions and exclusions of your Avant Practice Insurance Policy.

    • Yes. Avant’s Practice Medical Indemnity Policy  provides cover for claims for compensation made against the practice which relate to the healthcare services you provide. Legal fees and expenses for disciplinary matters (e.g. tribunal or registration board) are also covered under your practice policy.

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    COVID19: general indemnity issues: are you covered?

    Avant practitioner indemnity insurance


    • Yes. Telehealth activities are covered under your Avant’s Practitioner Indemnity Insurance policy. This includes consultations conducted via video conference and telephone, as well as SMS. You are covered anywhere in Australia.

      Where there is a pre-existing clinical relationship with your patient, you are covered for telehealth activities where you are outside of Australia (for less than 120 days) and the patient is in Australia, or where the patient is outside of Australia (for less than 90 days) and you are in Australia (please refer to the policy wording for all details).


    • Yes. Your Avant’s Practitioner Indemnity Insurance policy covers you for this subject to the full terms, conditions and exclusions of the policy.

      However, it is important that you take precautions and follow all available advice to ensure that you can prevent transmission where possible.

      There is no cover under your policy if you know, or should have reasonably known or suspected, that you had the virus and then transmitted it to a patient. Therefore, if you are aware that you are infected, or suspect that you might be, it is important that you cease practising immediately and inform your hospital/local health service immediately.


    • Yes.   You are covered under your Avant’s Practitioner Indemnity Insurance policy  for defending complaints in relation to breaches of workplace health and safety laws, as well as any fines and penalties as a result, subject to the full terms, conditions and exclusions of the policy.

    • The Medical Board of Australia and other National Boards are working with Ahpra to streamline the return to work process for practitioners who have been off the Register of practitioners, or who have held non-practising registration since 1 January 2017. Details of their current advice are available on the Ahpra website.

      In addition to registration you will also need medical indemnity insurance if you are practising privately. Avant will be able to arrange insurance cover for doctors returning to practice.

      Avant is pleased to support non-practising or retired doctors who may be considering returning to medical practice to assist with the crisis, by providing medical indemnity cover at no cost during the COVID-19 emergency period. To express your interest, please complete this application form and then email to applications@avant.org,au for more information.

      On 31 March 2020, regulations were passed to provide certainty for doctors who return to practice and currently hold run-off cover. Importantly, doctors will not need to arrange cover for prior practice and the regulations provide an exemption for doctors to maintain their cover through the Run-Off Cover Scheme while returning to practice for the period of the COVID-19 crisis.

      The temporary pandemic sub-register for medical practitioners will close on 5 April 2021. For more information see Ahpra’s website.

       


    • For patients treated in a public setting, your employer typically provides indemnity.

      We suggest you ensure that you are employer indemnified for any public work as this is not usually covered by your medical indemnity policy which is mainly for private practice.

      If you do not have cover from your employer for your public work, please contact us so that this cover can be arranged.


    • You should only provide healthcare you are appropriately qualified and trained to do. Ahpra has provided the following information about medical practitioners being fast tracked into new roles in responding to the COVID-19-19 crisis:

      We are being asked a range of questions about how the National Boards would respond to requests for changes to the way that we register individuals in the context of managing the health sector impacts of COVID-19.

      As an overriding principle, the National Boards and A are prepared to be flexible in our approach although safety remains our first priority.

      In this context, we are considering how our regulatory requirements can adapt to emergency health service needs and support health service delivery while continuing to protect the public.

      Avant will continue to rely on and recognise the regulators’ assessments of appropriate qualification to act. To ensure you are covered you should only provide healthcare where you are qualified and maintain your insurance coverage.

      You should maintain coverage with us that is appropriate for your practice and, if you are considering changing your area of practice, please check if your existing category or practice includes the new work you are undertaking.

      If you are still unsure or need to change category, please contact us on 1800 128 268.

       


    • Generally, the treatment of a public patient is state indemnified.

      Currently there is not a clear position on how the state insurer indemnity will operate for public patients in a private facility.

      Avant wants you to be able to practise with confidence and can confirm your current policy will cover you for healthcare provided to all patients in private hospitals where you are not indemnified by the state, the hospital or another insurer, provided you declare your private billings for this work.

      Coverage is subject to the full terms, conditions and exclusions of the policy.


    • Medical indemnity insurance premiums are based on several factors. Your annualised billings are one of these factors. If these have changed significantly from what is noted in your current policy documents, we can amend them which could reduce your premium. Please call us on  1800 128 268  to discuss possible changes.

    • Yes. However, if you have stopped all practice of medicine, you may be eligible to change your category of practice to Absentee.

      This category continues to provide you with cover for claims against you that relate to your prior medical practice but does not provide cover for any current healthcare that you provide.

      The premium for Absentee cover is $200 for any period up to 12 months. You should only consider changing your policy to Absentee if you plan to stop all medical practice. You will need to notify us prior to returning to your practice to arrange appropriate cover.


    • Avant is offering a range of options on indemnity policy premiums, to members whose incomes have been impacted due to COVID-19. Each member will have their own unique circumstances and we are offering solutions that best meet individual needs, which can include:

      ✓ Premium adjustments for reduced billings for eligible members

      ✓ Transfer to an Absentee category for eligible members unable to practice with medical indemnity premiums waived until practice resumes

      ✓ A range of instalment options, including monthly payment options

      For members or practices who are experiencing significant financial hardship and are not able to meet payments, Avant may be able to assist you. Please contact us on 1800 128 268 to discuss how we can support you.


    • Yes. Avant’s Practitioner Indemnity Insurance policy will cover you for the work you do as a healthcare professional within your category of practice and that you are appropriately trained and qualified to do, subject to the terms, conditions and exclusions of the policy.

      Coverage will not be refused where you exercise clinical judgment and your clinical decision to provide healthcare is determined to be inconsistent with the available advice in this fluid and uncertain environment.

      We recommend and trust that our members follow the advice of government, their places of work, relevant professional bodies, colleges and societies, as well as peak decision-making bodies like the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee.

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    Avant trainee indemnity insurance


    • Yes. If you are an Avant member and a doctor in training, you are covered for the healthcare you provide in private practice where:

      • it forms part of your training program; or
      • it falls outside your training program, but it is consistent with your qualifications and experience.

      You are also covered for volunteer work that is consistent with your qualifications and experience.

      Cover is subject to the full terms, conditions and exclusions of the Avant practitioner policy.

      If you are employed by a hospital/or health service, you will generally be indemnified by your employer for the work that you do, including for compensation claims.

      However, not all employers cover the expenses for legal advice and representation for employment disputes, training disputes and coronial matters, amongst other things. It is important that you know whether you have the cover that you need through your employer. If you would like to find out more, please contact Avant Member Services on 1800 128 268.


    • Yes. Generally, you will be covered by your employer under your employment contract for treating patients in a private setting.

      However, if your employer does not provide you with this cover then your Avant practitioner policy will be able to provide this cover without you having to make any changes to your policy.

      If you need to update your category of practice e.g. if you move from a GP registrar to a hospital registrar, please contact us.

      Cover is subject to the full terms, conditions and exclusions of the Avant practitioner policy.

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