Indemnity in detail

When you start to review and compare indemnity policies it can become complex very quickly. There are many similarities between providers and key differences may be buried in policy wording.

MIPS' indemnity policy for doctors, dentists, oral health practitioners, nuclear medicine technologists and healthcare students is the same document. Some conditions apply depending on your membership classification, for example, communicable diseases cover is only applicable for student and recent graduate members.

Comparing MIPS with other providers

24hr clinico-legal advice from practitioners

Members can speak a variety of dental and medical specialists not an administrator in times of need, even after hours. Other providers typically have a 24hr support line, however, the quality of advice will differ and on most occasions, you can’t speak with a healthcare practitioner. Some providers will provide a limited consultation with a para-legal or lawyer whereas MIPS provides unlimited 24hr phone support and appoints legal representation when appropriate.

Direct and Independent

MIPS is the only organisation selling MIPS membership. So no matter which services you use, you won’t be charged an additional fee beyond the membership that accurately describes your practice. Some brokers are re-selling other MDOs or commercial insurers policy and services – this means you may be paying a middle-man a premium for the service.

One membership. One fee

MIPS only sells the one product, membership. Commercial insurers will sell you separate policies, however, MIPS is a specialist provider with expertise suited to healthcare practitioners and there is no limit to the amount of advice you can seek from us.

$20M indemnity cover

The policy meets the professional indemnity requirements outlined by AHPRA for healthcare practitioners and is suitable for medical, dental and nuclear medicine technology practitioners and healthcare students.

No sub-limits for indemnity

MIPS only has one indemnity limit for civil liabilities and defence costs and it’s $20M. While most healthcare indemnity providers are using a $20M limit, they typically place sub-limits of say $200,000, $300,000 or $1M on certain events, such as disciplinary board or coronial inquiries. What is often marketed as benefits are in fact limits on cover.

MIPS Protections unlimited discretionary cover

A unique benefit which provides flexible assistance for your professional activities not otherwise covered by insurance (eg assisting you with a dispute with a colleague, employer or regulator). All medical indemnity cover in Australia used to be discretionary but was then changed to be managed through contracts of insurance. MIPS is the only provider to retain a form of discretionary cover for added protection. Find out more.

External legal counsel

Our legal representation for members is handled by experts either through our in house legal team or our panel of external legal firms that have the jurisdictional or subject matter. This approach provides superior legal representation and defence outcomes.

Not-for-profit mutual

Members first. MIPS is a membership organisation and MDO (ie medical defence organisation), A not for profit mutual where all assets of MIPS are ultimately owned by MIPS members. We are bound by our Constitution to act in the best interests of members.

Telehealth

MIPS’ Indemnity Insurance Policy includes cove for telehealth. Conditions apply, see the policy in the Member Handbook for details or our Telehealth FAQs. Other providers may or may not include telehealth and may place some restrictions on what is covered. You should familiarise yourself with any restrictions. Under Australian law, the location of the patient is where telehealth is considered to be provided.

 

Membership Quote

Legal defence and damages

MIPS' indemnity can respond to complaints, claims and investigations in relation to any acts, errors, breaches or omissions you make in the provision of healthcare.

When providing indemnity MIPS is actively:

  • defending members in the event of:
    • complaints from patients
    • civil suits, eg when you have been sued by a patient
    • investigations such as those conducted by AHPRA, HCCC, coroners or hospital
  • assisting members with their responses to Medicare, colleges, coroners or any other healthcare authorities
  • paying damages or other civil liabilities you are ordered to pay by a court
  • paying legal costs of a professional body, court or tribunal you are ordered to pay
  • representing members with hospital inquiry defence/removal from proceedings. This may be before a hospital administrative tribunal
  • representing members at disciplinary hearings of a professional body such as a college
  • representing/assisting members with AHPRA (or other authority) investigations
  • defending a subpoena to provide medical/dental records
  • defending a complaint against a mandatory report
  • defending a complaint made about you because you have reported a patient or practitioner for child abuse/neglect
  • representing your interests in an indemnity dispute where your employer should provide indemnity for an incident, for example a dispute following treatment to patient in a public hospital
  • funding an appeal where there is merit and reasonable prospects of success

Example one

Patient complaint

A psychiatric registrar consultation with a patient in an ED, led to a complaint to AHPRA made by a community legal service.The complaint alleged mismanagement, the patient being held against his will; and inappropriate examinations and medication. The complaint was investigated by AHPRA. The member contacted MIPS and was provided support and assistance to effectively respond to the hospital and AHPRA.

It was found that the patient was a regular visitor to the ED, often seeking treatment for spurious conditions, as well as shelter and food. MIPS was able to bring this to the Board's attention and the Board determined that at all times the patient had been treated fairly and appropriately and good patient records kept. No action was taken against the member.

Example two

Civil Suit (ie being sued)

Rahul visited a GP with a wrist injury. The GP, Joanna, advised an X-ray and upon inconclusive examination referred Rahul to a physiotherapist.Rahul found the physio treatment painful and unhelpful so he returned to Joanna who referred him for a scan at the local hospital. This scan revealed a broken scaphoid bone in the wrist. Rahul called Joanna to complain and seek compensation for his pain, insisting that she should have known about this earlier and should not have referred him to the ‘unhelpful’ physio.

Joanna notifies the matter under the Indemnity Insurance Policy and the claim is accepted. Legal proceedings are commenced against Joanna seeking compensation of $100,000. MIPS, on behalf of the insurer, appoints a lawyer to act for Joanna. The claim against Joanna is settled for $40,000 plus legal costs. The cost for the lawyer to defend Joanna is $20,000. Both of these amounts are paid under the Indemnity Insurance Policy.

MIPS' indemnity policy specifically excludes:

  • Tax audits, however you can request assistance through MIPS Protections
  • Replacement or restoration of lost medical records
  • Fines and penalties (cover for fines and penalties is not usually insurable under any indemnity policy in Australia).

When making a indemnity insurance comparison in Australia it is important to consider both the policy features and if the pricing includes the same retroactive cover.

MIPS Protections

Where MIPS' indemnity policy cannot respond, MIPS provides assistance through MIPS Protections.

MIPS Protection provides discretionary assistance to members for disputes that arise in connection with employment, training, industrial relations and non-clinical registration and board issues. MIPS Protections applies to non-medical indemnity matters.

Find out more about, and see examples of, MIPS Protections cover.

Membership Quote

This is a summary only, you should read the full list of member benefits, including any terms and conditions which are outlined in the Member Handbook.

Understanding retroactive cover

Claims-made and medical indemnity insurance in Australia

Medical indemnity insurance in Australia is provided on a claims-made basis. This approach is different to some other countries, such as the UK, where cover is generally provided on a claims-incurred basis.

Claims-made insurance policies cover claims made in the period of insurance and notified to the insurer in the period of insurance.

This means that you are only covered under these insurance policies if you are a member at the time the claim is made against you and reported to the insurer. You are NOT covered for incidents prior to your retroactive date or previously known to you or matters that have been notified to you or your previous insurer or medical/dental defence organisation.

The MIPS Indemnity Insurance Policy is a claims-made insurance policy. You must notify MIPS of any claim made against you or any investigation or incident as soon as reasonably practicable after you first become aware of the claim or investigation.

Incident covered under claims made

Claim accepted. The claims occurs after the retroactive date and is reported within the membership (policy) period.

Incident not covered under claims made

Claim rejected. Claim reported after membership (policy) period cancellation, even though incident occurred within membership period.

An informed voice for an informed choice

MIPS is serious about providing comprehensive cover for healthcare practitioners. If our policies don't meet your expectations, then we'd like to hear about it and how you think we could extend or vary our support and protection to better serve healthcare professionals and students in Australia. Read our article What do I need to know about choosing indemnity?

**For more information about the Medical Indemnity Act of 2002, visit the Federal Register of Legislation.