If you work in the medical profession as a doctor or something similar, you’ll know that mistakes can happen. Sometimes, these mistakes can be serious and have severe consequences. The University of Manchester has reported that more than 200 million medication errors occur in the NHS each year, with avoidable adverse drug reactions (ADRs) causing hundreds of deaths. This is why it’s so important to have a grasp of professional indemnity insurance. Keep reading to find out more.

What is professional indemnity insurance?

Also known as PI insurance, professional indemnity insurance is a commercial policy used to help to protect you against claims for loss or damage made by third parties or clients. Professionals and businesses use it for added peace of mind, as it can help them to stay financially secure by covering any legal fees or compensation payments that may need to be addressed.

How can professional indemnity insurance help?

Having the necessary protection in place is extremely important in the healthcare sector. It can be used to cover the full scope of your medical practice; it should be arranged before you begin to practise.

How professional indemnity works in healthcare

Whether you’re carrying out medical care at a private or independent practice, it’s important to have the correct protection in place. Having professional indemnity insurance as a medical professional in the healthcare sector gives you a layer of protection against claims made by patients or third parties. It can also be known as medical malpractice insurance. Without it, if a claim were to be raised after a breach of contract due to a failure to exercise reasonable skill and care, it could be ruinous.

What professional indemnity covers

Professional indemnity can cover a variety of claims, many of which are aligned with more common medication errors in a healthcare setting. Examples of this in practice might include giving somebody the incorrect medicine or the incorrect dosage, or failing to check whether somebody has any medication allergies. It can also cover medical negligence, defamation and other errors that have occurred while somebody has been under your care and supervision.

Examples of circumstances that will often not be covered include purposeful misconduct and existing issues that were not disclosed to the insurer. Similarly, cosmetic procedures may not be covered as these are considered especially risky.

Meanwhile, public liability requires a separate type of insurance to cover claims made by members of the public for injury or damage. Employers’ liability insurance is another type of business insurance that protects you from claims by a current or former employee involving injury suffered as a result of working for you. For this reason, medical professionals seeking out professional indemnity insurance should have a clear understanding of what their policy covers.