APNA professional indemnity insurance: Are you covered?

By APNA Nurse Education Manager Suzanne Blackeby and Jamie Lansdown, Senior Relationship Manager, Insurance House 

Source: APNA Primary Times Summer 2022-23 (Volume 22, Issue 2)

In Australia, all registered health practitioners are required by law to have appropriate professional indemnity insurance (PII) to practice the profession in which they are registered.1 APNA has worked with Insurance House to develop an APNA-member-only PII solution to protect primary health care nurses working anywhere in Australia.   

Our APNA Nurse Support Line receives many queries regarding insurance, including ‘Do I need my own cover?’ or ‘I’ve received a complaint. What do I need to do?’  

Our APNA support staff can only provide limited information about insurance, so we have engaged Insurance House to provide answers to some frequently asked questions asked by APNA members.  

Q: ‘If my employer has insurance, why do I need my own cover?’  

A: You may be covered by your employer’s insurance when at work. It will depend on your type of employment, and independent contractors will likely require their own insurance. Nurses should ask their employer to see their professional indemnity and liability insurance policy to ensure that all nursing activities are covered under that policy.  

Nurses working in multiple locations or for multiple employers should check that they are adequately protected at each location, with each employer and for all activities. If there is any doubt about whether you are adequately protected by your employer, individual PII may be suitable and may provide peace of mind.  

Members should also be aware that the employer’s insurance may not protect you if you engage in other nursing activities outside the workplace, such as voluntary programs or good Samaritan acts. We understand situations may arise when your skills and care are needed by others, and APNA’s member PII insurance may be a good investment to protect you during those unexpected events.  

Q: ‘What do I need to do if something goes wrong?’  

A: We understand it can be stressful when something goes wrong. Mishaps and misunderstandings occur, and some of the most common incidents are needle-stick injuries, such as administering an incorrect vaccine dosage or an out-of-date vaccine.  

A complaint may be made directly to the nurse or the practice manager, or a formal complaint may be made directly to the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA). If this happens to you, make detailed notes about the incident whilst it’s still fresh in your mind, as those details may be relevant to resolving the situation.  

Regardless of how the complaint is received, you must lodge a claim notification. Even if the incident appears to be minor, it must be notified to the insurer to ensure you are adequately protected in the event the incident is escalated further by the complainant. The Insurance House PII policy is a ‘claims made’ policy, meaning you must notify all incidents in the policy period when you first become aware of the incident. These incidents can take months or years to resolve, and if you fail to notify the insurer in the first instance, you may not be covered.  

Employer’s insurance may not protect you if you engage in other nursing activities outside the workplace, such as voluntary programs or good Samaritan acts. 

To lodge a notification of an incident or a claim, contact Insurance House on 1300 213 067 and advise our team member that you are an APNA member. You can also complete a claim form and email it to members@ihgroup.com.au. The claim form is located on the member portal on APNA’s website (see URL below), along with other helpful information about what to do in the event of an incident or claim.  

If a complaint is lodged directly to AHPRA, the matter will be handled in line with the AHPRA complaints handling process. You will be informed that a concern has been raised and may be contacted for further information or required to provide a formal written response. Before you respond, please get in touch with our team to lodge a claim. It is important that the insurer’s specialist claims team can review the response and lend their expertise to the process. Additional information about how AHPRA manages concerns can be found at www.ahpra.gov.au. 

An additional APNA member benefit is a legal helpline provided at no extra cost. Details of the legal helpline are located on the APNA member portal, or you can also contact Insurance House.  

A word of warning: The legal helpline is not the incident or claims reporting line. You must still lodge a notification of an incident or a claim as detailed above. The policy wording also has several conditions and obligations related to claims. Speak to the Insurance House customer service team if you need assistance.  


For information about the APNA member PII insurance, go to www.apna.asn.au/membership/member-benefits/insurance

Contact the APNA Nurse Support Line on 1300 303 184 Monday–Friday, 9 am–5 pm or email nursesupport@apna.asn.au.  

Insurance House can be contacted at 1300 213 067 or email the team at members@ihgroup.com.au.  

The cover is subject to the policy terms and conditions.  

Insurance House Pty Ltd ABN 33 006 500 072 AFSL 240954. 

Insurance House acts as agent of the insurer in respect to this insurance. The above information is general advice only and does not consider your personal circumstances, needs or objectives. Before purchasing insurance, please consider the Product Disclosure Statement or Policy Wording.  

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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