What is professional indemnity insurance for nurses and where do you buy it?
As a nurse you’re exposed to a variety of risks and professional indemnity insurance (PII) is here to protect you from those risks. PII for nurses protect nurses from a range of incidents including:
The number of incidents that could happen working as a nurse:
- Administering the wrong drugs to a patient
- Failing to carry out instructions properly to care for a patient
- Being wrongfully accused of unprofessional conduct either while performing clinical duties or administration work
- Giving incorrect advice to a patient
- Applying or removing dressings negligently, resulting in damage or injury to a patient
- Making a mistake or error in judgement due to being overworked
Ready to compare your options?
Meet your registration requirements for cover. Simply fill out your occupation details to get a quote.
Is indemnity cover not already included?
You may be offered some level of cover under your employer’s professional indemnity policy, but it’s also a good idea to compare your options cover for yourself. Some professional associations offer professional indemnity cover to members. You can also take out a policy from an insurance provider.
Professional indemnity insurance offers financial protection against the many risks nurses face, ensuring they can simply perform their vital jobs without having to worry about the damage their finances and careers would suffer if something went wrong.
PII insurance quick tips
In Australia, the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA) requires Nurses / Midwife’s to take out PII in order to practice.
Public liability insurance help protect you against accidental injuries and damages that happen at your practice or at your patients house for example.
If you store information about patients then cyber liability insurance should be considered. It protects you against the expenses if this information is compromised.
Here's a sample quote to give you a rough idea of how much cover costs:
|Insurance type||Professional Indemnity|
|Cost estimate||$28.42 per month|
Professional indemnity insurance is a requirement for all nurses in Australia to meet Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA) registration standard. While cover differs from policy to policy, you can generally expect cover:
- If you are sued for malpractice or negligence
- If you are sued for damages as a result of a public liability claim
- If, in connection to your work, you are sued for defamation, libel or slander
- If you are sued for breaching intellectual property rights
- If you are called upon to appear before the Coroner
- If you are reported to AHPRA
- If you are sued after performing a Good Samaritan Act
Policies provide cover for the cost of your legal defence, as well as compensation for your time required to attend court or an inquiry. If you are required to pay compensation or damages, this is catered for under a professional indemnity policy as well, as is the cost of hiring a public relations consultant to limit or repair any damage to your reputation.
In order to determine exactly what is covered under a professional indemnity insurance policy, read its product disclosure statement closely.
While being compelled to buy an insurance is somewhat annoying, you can actually claim your PII premiums as a deduction on your tax return.
In Australia, in order to fulfil your registration requirements you’ll need to have adequate professional indemnity insurance if you are:
- A midwife
- An enrolled nurse
- A nurse practitioner
- A registered nurse
- Community health nurse
- An at home nurse (not including hospitals)
You won’t need to buy cover if you’re currently studying nursing or midwifery, or if you have a non-practising registration.
In regards to buying PII for nurses or midwives, you’ve got a few options:
- Buy your own cover. You can buy your own cover either directly from an insurer or with the help of an adviser. This is generally suited to nurses and midwives that are self employed. If you do take out your own cover, you’ll need to keep evidence of your insurance for at least five years.
- Cover through employer. You can be supplied cover through your employer and may be suitable to nurses or midwives that work for a single employer.
- Get cover with membership. You can get cover as an add on to your membership dues to organisations such as the Australian Primary Health Care Nurses Association (APNA). This may be suitable to those not wanting to find cover from an outside party.
No matter which option you choose, be sure to review and compare your options. If you have any doubts, reach out to the insurer, an adviser, your employer or association and check that you’re making the right decision.
How much cover you need will depend on whether you’re taking cover out your own professional indemnity insurance or if you’re getting cover with your employer or association
If you are taking out cover yourself, you’ll need to ensure you’re getting cover that is both adequate and appropriate. Luckily, insurers that offer PII will have standard policies that comply with the standards required and they can also help tailor a policy to your needs if required.
Generally, getting cover from an adviser will mean a more tailored policy but you can expect a policy to cover around $10 million per claim, with most policies capping payments at a certain level.
To make sure you’re fully protected you should ensure the policy covers:
- Claims made. This covers you against claims made while you’re practising.
- Run-off. This protects your from claims after you’ve stopped practising.
What happens if you don’t have an appropriate level of cover?
If you don’t have the appropriate level of cover you’re not only putting your livelihood at risk should something go wrong but you also leave yourself vulnerable to having your application for registration or renewal refused by the NMBA.
If you’re an enrolled nurses, midwives, nurse practitioner or a registered nurses you’ll need to have an appropriate and adequate level of cover as long practising. If you’re not practising but are register, you won’t need to have PII arrangements for that period.
However, once you do decide to stop practising, you’ll need to make sure you have an appropriate level of run-off cover, so that you’re protected from claims that arise from your actions at a later date.
Professional indemnity insurance offers essential coverage for a wide range of occupations, especially for nurses. With the unique and extensive range of risks nurses are exposed to, this type of cover offers the protection you need to ensure your financial strength and career survival if you are ever accused of breaching your professional duty.