At Avant we want to help you understand
your policy, and this includes how you’re covered when you’re in the process of
switching insurers. The following Q&As – based on commonly asked questions
– cover the key points that you will come across when making a switch. Avant
hopes this brief guide will give you the clarity and reassurance you need.*
What does ‘claims made and notified’ mean?
If your policy is
categorised as being ‘claims made and notified’ it means you are covered for
claims made against you and which you notify to the insurer during the policy
period. The incident or error need not have occurred during this policy period
for the claim to be covered, but it must have occurred after the retroactive
It is really important that you notify your insurer of a
potential claim as soon as it happens in order to ensure that you do not
prejudice your cover.
What does a ‘retroactive date’ mean?
This is the date from which your work will be covered. So, an incident or
error must have occurred after the retroactive date to constitute a valid claim
under your policy. If it occurred prior to the retroactive date, it will not be
To ensure you remain appropriately protected, it is very
important that you nominate the correct retroactive date when you are moving
If I have retroactive cover, am I covered for all past
You will not be covered for matters where you knew, or
where a reasonable person in your position would have known, that a claim might
When moving insurers, you need to notify your current
insurer of all incidents and possible matters that might result in a claim being
made before the end of your policy period. Watch our short video on retroactive cover to find out more.
What is run-off cover and
how many years do I need to be covered for?
Run-off cover protects you
after you move insurers or cease to practise, either temporarily or permanently.
It extends the period of notification, so you are covered for claims made after
you retire or move insurers arising from errors or incidents while you were
still practising or with the previous insurer. The time period for run-off cover
varies from member to member, depending on their individual needs and
circumstances. Watch our short video about run-off cover to find out more information.
What should I tell my current insurer before I
move to another insurer?
Before you move insurers, it is important to
notify your current insurer of all incidents and errors that could result in a
claim being made. This includes:
- any request to refund fees or
waive fees due to you
- any request you receive for a patient
- any request you receive for a referral or second opinion, or
if you become aware that a patient has sought a second opinion, or where you
have advised the patient to seek a second opinion
- any termination of
the doctor/patient relationship
- if you have been asked to attend a
hospital review in relation to patient management
- any adverse
outcome causing either harm or a complication to a patient, or anger from a
patient (or their family)
- any claim, investigation or complaint that
could be covered under your policy or relate to your conduct as a healthcare
- any investigation by your employer, a hospital you work
at, area health authority, medical college or a statutory body that relates to
your professional conduct.
Even if you remained on good terms with
a patient and don’t expect them to make a complaint, it is still very important
to tell your insurer about the issue or incident. After all, a cordial
relationship is no guarantee that a patient will not make a claim in the
If you want to learn how to join Australia’s leading medical
defence organisation, please call Avant on 1800 128 268. *
IMPORTANT: Professional indemnity insurance products available from Avant Mutual
Group Limited ABN 58 123 154 898 are issued by Avant Insurance Limited, ABN 82
003 707 471, AFSL 238 765. The information provided here is general advice only.
You should consider the appropriateness of the advice having regard to your own
objectives, financial situation and needs before deciding to purchase or
continuing to hold a policy with us. For full details, including the terms and
conditions (and exclusions) that apply, please read and consider the policy
wording and PDS, which is available at www.avant.org.au or by contacting us on
1800 128 268.
Share your view
We welcome your feedback on this article – email the Editor at: firstname.lastname@example.org