Be Professionally Ready - Insurance
Congratulations! 'Student' is past tense and a new profession awaits before you.
Now that you are about to graduate there are two key professional boxes you need to tick. Insurance and Registration. We explore this transition from student to qualified professional in more depth in our professional Strive & Thrive in Private Practice Course but in this article, we will look at Insurance.
Why do I need it?
Unfortunately, even a well-meaning, qualified and conscientious health professional can make mistakes or be perceived by their client, to have been negligent. For example, a clinician left their client on the exercise bike too long and stirred up their new TKR, a clinician advised their client to purchase and wear an incorrect or ill-fitting brace or a clinician forgot to conduct red flag screens when it was deemed appropriate. Like car and house insurance, professional indemnity insurance protects a big ticket investment - your profession and it is also a AHPRA registration requirement. Further details are provided in the AHPRA Codes & Guidelines section.
What does it cover?
Check with your provider, but usually, you will find that your professional indemnity insurance policy is actually three items rolled into one cover;
Public liability insurance covers the cost of legal action and compensation claims made against you if your client is injured or their property suffers damage whilst at your business premises or when you are working in their home (e.g., house visits) property. This insurance relates to your general duty of care as a member of the public.
Professional indemnity/liability insurance provides protection from the legal costs and claims for damages that may arise from an act, omission or breach of your duty in the course of your providing professional services. This insurance relates to you having studied a profession and now you also have a professional duty of care. Because there is an overlap between public liability and professional liability you may want to ensure you have both features in the same policy.
Product liability insurance protects you against the legal costs and compensation claims of personal injury or property damage caused by products sold or supplied through your business.
You can read some more from the Australian Government Business section here.
What does ‘run-off cover’ mean?
Be aware of the difference between a policy that has 'run off' and 'claims made' features. Run-off cover is a type of cover that practitioners may need when they stop practising, depending on the type of PII arrangements they have held while practising. It protects a health practitioner who has ceased practice against claims that arise out of or are a consequence of activities that were undertaken when the practitioner was conducting that practice.
If you have held a PII arrangements policy that is a ‘claims made’ policy, this only covers you for claims made during the period of cover, and you would need to have run-off cover to deal with any claims made after you stop practising and your claims made cover has ended.
Providers of Professional Indemnity Insurance
Here is a company list and website addresses for providers of insurance in Australia. In addition to seeking cost comparisons, please ensure the type of cover and the amount of cover you seek is appropriate for your individual circumstances. Listed in alphabetical order, they are;
BMS - Affinity http://www.bmsgroup.com/affinity
Paris Financial https://www.physioaccountant.com.au/insurance_for_your_business
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