Indemnity insurance for doctors is a requirement for renewing APC in Malaysia, starting from 2021. This article will attempt to make it easier to understand what you’re getting and where to find these insurance providers.
What is professional indemnity insurance? It’s basically insurance taken out to cover a professional against claims, damages and / or loss in the conduct of business. It is also commonly known as malpractice insurance or insurance for medical professionals.
indemnity /ɪnˈdɛmnɪti/ insurance – Indemnity insurance is a contractual agreement in which one party guarantees compensation for actual or potential losses or damages sustained by another party. … These special insurance policies indemnify or reimburse professionals against claims made as they conduct their business.Investopedia – Indemnity Insurance Definition
Professional Indemnity Insurance for Doctors in Malaysia
Since the regulations under Medical Act 1971 were updated in 2017, Professional Indemnity Insurance (PII) is now required for renewal of Annual Practicing Certificate (APC) for doctors in Malaysia, along with the 20 CPD points requirement. Even though the regulation was passed in 2017, the enforcement will only start for renewal of APC for the year 2021.
The requirement for indemnity insurance for doctors in Malaysia covers both government and private sector practitioners. As long as the person wants to renew his or her APC, it is a must to buy the medical indemnity insurance starting from 2021 onwards.
Insurance for Doctors: Top 5 Things to Consider Before You Buy
With the enforcement of the requirement of indemnity insurance starting from the year 2021, there are now multiple insurance for doctors offering in Malaysia that have sprung up like mushroom after rain. However, not all insurance are created equal as there are fine prints you should know and understand before committing to an insurance provider.
- Retroactive cover
- Locum practice
- Choice of lawyer
- Ease to get contractual obligation information
What does a professional indemnity insurance for a doctor actually cover?
Generally, a professional indemnity insurance for doctors covers the following (do take note this is not an extensive list and coverage is different between providers)
- Claims arising from an incident in the course of providing professional healthcare services by the insured
- Legal representation costs incurred in connection with inquiries into conduct of professional healthcare services
- Liability arising in the course of doing locum work
- Aggravated damages
- Retroactive coverage
- Run-off coverage
What is retroactive cover? It is coverage extended to cover damages arising from before your policy date. For example:
- You bought an indemnity insurance in May 2020
- Someone raised a claim against you for and incident that happened in December 2019
- If your insurance comes with retrospective cover, you would be protected.
For those who have been practising medicine for a long time, I think this feature is quite important to protect yourself and your practice and give you peace of mind
Run-off coverage means protection for you when you have retired from active work.
Say you stopped practising in November 2019, and suddenly you’re faced with a claim today. You can still get protected from any damages subject to your policy coverage.
Locum Practice Coverage
One key coverage area is definitely locum practice, as many government doctors do locum work outside of their normal work hours with the government hospital. Some insurance providers adjust your premium based on whether you do locum practice or not. The premiums also depend very much on your field of specialisation. For example, those in obstetrics & gynaecology face a high amount of medical lawsuits and thus premiums are much higher compared to someone practising public health.
Choice of lawyer
Almost all the insurance providers will have their own panel of qualified lawyers and experts in medicolegal cases. However, should you already have someone whom you want to work with, certain schemes don’t allow for your own choice of lawyers.
Is the provider willing to give you full information of the contractual obligation upfront before asking you to commit to their insurance policy? In some cases, certain providers are reluctant to furnish the information.
Personally, I’m the type of person who needs to understand fully what I’m getting into before committing to it.
Medical Indemnity Insurance Providers in Malaysia
Here’s a list of medical indemnity insurance providers in Malaysia that I could find. Please do note that the list might be updated from time to time.
- Medical Protection Society – link here
- Doctor Shield – link here
- Medefend (JLT) – link here
- Zurich Professional Indemnity Insurance for Medical Professionals – link here
- Aon Malaysian Medical Indemnity (MMI) – link here
With so many insurance providers to choose from, which one is the best?
Fret not as i will attempt to breakdown and de-mystify this topic by breaking it down into simple to understand comparisons. Simply click the button below to start your journey.