Professional Indemnity for doctors

Wed 1 Aug 2018 00:00:00 UTC

Professional Indemnity insurance for doctors

Professional indemnity for doctors

Professional indemnity insurance, in short, covers your legal liabilities incurred while performing your services as a professional.

This means that in the event your client feels you have not performed your services well enough and takes legal action, your costs will be covered by the policy.

Professionals such as doctors, brokers, accountants and other services based businesses also take such policies to cover their services.This post talks about the benefits and exclusions of a doctor's liability policy. If you want an instant, online, quote, click here.

Doctor’s Professional Indemnity

Medical practitioners are responsible for the healthcare and well being of their patients. This is a high level of responsibility, and any mistake or negligence could have serious consequences, that could lead to affected persons taking legal action. There are also publicised cases of a select few professionals taking advantage of their patients and overcharging/prescribing unnecessary treatments. All this furore adds to the fear and cynicism against doctors, and affects the doctors ability to focus and work properly.

It is to provide a measure of protection against these risks that liability insurance exists. Professional Indemnity for doctors(also known as medical malpractice insurance in other countries) cover legal liability(court mandated penalty) in case of lawsuit filed for negligence in performing professional services.

Most policies also cover legal defence costs.

Below is a list of benefits commonly offered as part of doctor’s liability insurance by players in india. Because of the wide range of covers and benefits it is recommended to go to unbiased experts like insurance brokers to sort out your liability insurance requirements.

Any legal liability(court mandated payment) that you have to pay due to professional negligence, or any other risk covered in you policy is covered.

Defense Costs

The insurer will pay your legal defence costs in case a claim is brought against you for professional liability. Generally defence costs does not attract a retention(or deductible)

Breach of Confidentiality

The Insurer will pay on your behalf all Loss resulting from Claim alleging any breach of confidentiality or misuse of information in the performance of the Professional Services. This benefit applies to doctor patient confidentiality and other similar breaches.


Any Loss resulting from Claim alleging any libel, slander or defamation or injurious falsehood by the Insured in the performance of Professional Services is covered.

Fraud and Dishonesty

Under the fraud and dishonesty clause, any loss resulting from any claim for Fraud/Dishonesty of any employee under you is covered under doctor’s professional indemnity.

Loss of Documents

Any claim arising from the loss or destruction of documents while performing professional services is covered. The cost of replacing or restoring the documents are also borne. Documents in almost all cases will also include electronic data.

What is not covered?

All liability policies have universal exclusions. The exclusions under a doctor’s liability policy are:

Wilful negligence, fraud, criminal intent

Any negligence, fraud, or action that is found to be committed intentionally is not covered.

The purpose of a liability policy is to manage the risk of operating your daily operations. In case of grievances that are handled through long and drawn out legal processes, the lack of a policy will place financial strain that could seriously damage the future(not to mention finances) of your business.

Any claim payment that would place sanctions on the insurer by regulatory or government authorities is also not covered. This is known as sanctions limitation clause.


Any Liability arising from Radiation including genetic conditions due to x-ray or radiological treatment is excluded.

War and Nuclear Perils

Any claim caused by war, nuclear radiation or related perils are not covered under the policy.

Liability covered by other policies
  • An errors & omissions policy will only cover liability claims arising from performance of professional services.
  • Any claim arising due to bodily injury and property damage is not covered(as it would fall under public liability)
  • Any claim arising from a cyber attack is not covered(as it would fall under cyber liability)
  • Claims arising from employees are not covered(covered under employer’s liability or workman compensation)
  • Any claims against top management alone will not be covered, as this would fall under director’s and officers liability

Terms & Conditions

Sum insured

All liability policies have a limit of liability(or sum insured). It is expressed as a ratio in the form of AOA:AOY.

AOA stands for Any One Accident, this is how much the insurer will pay for any single claim

AOY stands for Any One Year, this is how much insurer will pay in any single policy year.

Standard ratios are 1:1, 1:2, or 1:3 or 1:4


Every policy has a deductible, or retention, which is the amount you pay out of pocket for every claim payment(the amount is ‘deducted’ from every claim payment the insurer makes).

Certain clauses may no have retention applied to them.

Deductible will vary with territory of policy, insurer, and type of doctor. Reducing the deductible will raise the premium.


A professional indemnity policy is valid in the geography mentioned as its territory. Most Doctors liability policies are india only.

Claims-made basis and Occurence basis

Because the event that causes a person to file a lawsuit and the actual filing of the lawsuit can occur pretty far apart, there is a coverage condition in every liability policy: Claims made basis or occurence basis.

Essentially, a Claims-made policy covers any legal liability as long as the claim was made(lawsuit was filed) during the policy period. The event(alleged malpractice) could have occured before the policy period, that is not considered by the insurer.

An occurence basis policy is a policy that covers all claims resulting from alleged malpractice events that occured during the policy period(when the policy was active). Doctors liability policies are usually claims made policies.