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Professional Indemnity Insurance for Physiotherapists

Professional indemnity insurance is compulsory in Australia if you're a physiotherapist.

What you need to know

  • All physiotherapists in Australia are legally required to have professional indemnity insurance (PII) in place.
  • Not only can it protect your business and personal assets, but often your reputation as well.
  • Many policies also cover the cost of hiring a public relations consultant to repair a reputation damaged by litigation.

Why is professional indemnity worth considering for Phyiotherapists?

In the course of practising their profession, physiotherapists perform a variety of services for their clients. This means they are exposed to risks on a variety of levels.

Services that a physiotherapist might perform

Typical activities that fall within their job description can include:

  • Helping to reduce pain and restore client mobility
  • Conducting one-on-one therapy sessions with clients
  • Evaluating and reporting on therapy outcomes.
  • Conducting group sessions to train other professionals such as teachers, nurses and social workers
  • Encouraging those clients to talk about their feelings
  • Conducting group therapy sessions in a clinical setting
  • Networking to build and maintain a consistent client base

Key risks can include:

  • Negligence in the course of providing therapy
  • Failing to develop suitable programs and services
  • Negligence in the course of counselling a client
  • Incorrect treatment advice given to a client.

What does this type of insurance cover?

Professional indemnity insurance protects against claims of negligence, error or omission that could be brought against you by one of your clients.

If you provide a service or advice to a client and they suffer a loss as a result, they may bring a claim against you to recover their loss. Professional indemnity insurance protects your assets by paying your legal defence costs and any damages that might be awarded.

The kinds of claims that can be brought against professionals and which professional indemnity insurance typically protects against include:

  • Providing incorrect or inadequate advice
  • Failing to advise
  • Libel, defamation or slander
  • Loss of documents
  • Ignoring client instructions
  • Breaches of trading or consumer laws
  • Intellectual property infringement
  • Breach of confidentiality
  • Breach of contract
  • Conflict of interest.

Professional indemnity insurance will protect you and your business against the costs associated with such claims and it will not only protect you, but also your partners, directors and employees both past and present.

Finder survey: How often do people compare or switch their professional indemnity insurance?

ResponseMaleFemale
once every 3+ yrs1.93%0.85%
I never compare or switch1.73%1.53%
once a year1.35%1.19%
every 2 yrs0.96%0.85%
more than once a year0.19%0.34%
Source: Finder survey by Pure Profile of 1112 Australians, December 2023

How can I compare professional indemnity cover if I'm a physio?

Professional indemnity insurance varies widely, so it’s important to shop around and compare policies from different insurers.

Ask these questions when reviewing cover

Things to ask yourself when examining a policy include:

  • Is it specific to my industry? (e.g. is it designed to cover physiotherapists and the unique exposures they face?)
  • Does the insurer have a good industry rating and claims payment history?
  • What kind of support do they provide? (e.g. will your claim be managed by a dedicated claims team?)
  • Does the policy represent good value for money? (e.g. does the cost reflect the level of cover provided?)
  • Does it cover you for work done in a previous practice? (e.g. does it include run-off cover?)
  • Are there several reinstatements of the sum insured, in case you have more than one claim in a year?
  • Does the excess need to be paid upfront towards legal costs (costs-inclusive) or can it go towards the settlement at a later date (costs-exclusive)?
  • Are there any exclusions that would disadvantage you in your particular circumstances and reduce your level of cover to an unacceptable degree?
  • What are the territorial limitations of the policy? (e.g. will you be covered if a claim emanates from another country?)

Speak to an advisor if you're unsure

It’s important that you get the right professional indemnity insurance at the right price and with the right level of cover, so if you are experiencing any problems in choosing a policy, it is always advisable to seek professional advice from an insurance broker or consultant.

What about public liability cover?

As a physiotherapist, you spend your time trying to help others overcome their injuries, but injuries that result from accidents on your business premises can come back to bite you in a big way.

Public liability insurance is vital for any business or profession that has daily dealings with the general public. It is designed to protect you from claims made by third parties for injuries or property damage that occur on your premises or as a result of your actions in the course of doing business.

More and more people are seeking damages in court for public liability claims and the size of the pay outs these days can easily be in the millions of dollars, so no business can afford to be unprotected. Fortunately, due to a competitive Australian marketplace, public liability insurance can be obtained relatively cheaply. So if you’re a practising physiotherapist and you don’t have it, it would be wise to take it out at the time of purchasing your professional indemnity insurance.

Find out more about public liability insurance

Talk to a broker about professional indemnity insurance for physiotherapists

Frequently asked questions

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    This is where professional indemnity insurance shows its worth. This type of cover offers much-needed financial protection for nurses against claims of negligence or malpractice. It covers the cost of your legal defence as well as any compensation you may be legally required to pay to a third party. Public relations costs to repair your professional image are also covered by professional indemnity policies.

    In order to find the right professional indemnity insurance policy for you, compare policies at finder.com.au and seek advice from colleagues. Compare quotes from a number of insurers and seek help from an insurance consultant if required.

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2 Responses

    Default Gravatar
    GabrielJanuary 13, 2016

    Can I purchase just 1 month of cover for professional indemnity insurance for aged care physiotherapy?

      AvatarFinder
      RichardJanuary 14, 2016Finder

      Hi Gabriel,

      Thanks for your question. finder.com.au is a comparison service and not an insurer. If you enter your details into the contact form a broker will be in touch to walk you the options available to you.

      I hope this was helpful,
      Richard

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