Does my workplace professional indemnity insurance give me enough protection?

16 May 2018

Author: Lisa Collison, Program Director APNA
This article was first published on LinkedIn

This is the top question that we’re answering on our APNA (Australian Primary Health Care Nurses Association) Nurse Support Line during this busy registration and renewal time. And the answer is – possibly not.

While most of the nurses and midwives who call know that they cannot practise unless they have appropriate professional indemnity insurance cover as required by AHPRA, where there’s uncertainty is whether they need to purchase their own liability insurance, particularly when they may already be covered by their employer using a group policy. So, should you consider purchasing individual cover at your own expense? Yes, we recommend it.

Your employer’s insurance vs your own insurance 

Did you know:

  • A claim can be directed against you and your employer either separately or jointly. In an employer group policy, you may not have sufficient cover against the liability exposure of a negligence claim. 
  • Even if you are not found liable, there is likely substantial costs in defending any claim, even one based on unfounded allegations. In an employer group policy, there may not be sufficient cover for you to receive the best legal advice and representation.
  • The employer and the employee can often have differing interests in the event of a claim arising from an incident involving the treatment of a patient. With your own policy, there will be no conflict of interest, as your insurer will work only in your interest.
  • You may work in several different practices, conduct home visits, volunteer or engage in Good Samaritan acts. Your own policy will protect you 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and anywhere in the world except USA and Canada. 
  • Your own policy will cover your legal costs in connection with a coronial inquest, starting with the preparation of a statement at the outset, before you are contacted by the Coroner’s assistant.
  • An employer group policy may be too broad to cover an individual’s practice. Your own policy will provide adequate and appropriate cover for all aspects of your practice.

Don’t put your livelihood at risk

You’ve spent time, finances and effort becoming a nurse. Now protect your livelihood by taking charge of your own insurance. You deserve peace of mind to focus on what you do best – nursing.

Using our in-depth understanding of primary health care and nursing challenges, APNA worked closely with Insurance House to deliver a professional indemnity insurance (PII) policy that we’re proud to recommend. Created by nurses for nurses, APNA Member Professional Indemnity insurance is packed with exceptional value to specifically meet member needs and budgets – priced at just $9.17 per month.

  • Policy is AHPRA/NMBA compliant and covers registered nurses, enrolled nurses, nurse practitioners and student nurses.
  • Issued in your own name, so you don’t have to rely on someone else’s policy for protection
  • Comprehensive cover 24/7 all year round, in any country except the USA and Canada.
  • $10m cover per claim, $30m cover per year, and free general legal support.

Information on APNA member professional indemnity insurance can be found here.

But if you choose to rely on your employer’s insurance policy...

  • Ensure the insurance cover is appropriate, meets the standards required by the NMBA and covers all aspects of your nursing practice in each work location. 
  • Ask your employer each year for evidence for audit of compliance “Statement of Employer – Professional Indemnity” as if audited by the Nursing and Midwifery board you are required to provide evidence of insurance 
  • Check the policy itself to ensure you understand what it covers you for. 
  • Each year when the policy is renewed - check the policy to ensure no changes have occurred which may impact you. .

Useful resources

The Australian Primary Health Care Nurses Association acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respects to elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.

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