GP’s Indemnity costs for extended/weekend working hours

Recently read an article in Pulse titled ‘ GPs paying £35 per hour for indemnity fees as LMC leaders vote for full costs to be covered’.  Interesting read, however, it included some muddled examples perhaps perpetuating a common misconception regarding the medical defence unions.  To clear it up, the three main medical defence unions, MPS, MDU and MDDUS are NOT insurance companies, nor are they providing insurance cover in respect of the individual indemnity they offer to members.  They are mutual organisations who offer membership and as a part of that membership they could make available their support if needed.

In my time as an insurance broker I have provided many an medical indemnity insurance policy for healthcare entities and individuals and in the vast majority of cases they thought that the defence union’s cover was insurance.  Of course I put them right and in some cases they were quite shocked at the lack of transparency and recourse available to them in relation to a defence union.

The rising cost of medical indemnity for GP’s has been on the cards for some time now, but with their numbers accounting for a good proportion of the defence unions membership costs are being spread.  What I mean is that the risk spreading nature of the defence unions works to large respect, however, it is distorting the actual medical indemnity costs of many GP’s out there.  Out of hours work is in it its nature a higher risk element of GP’s work, however, extended working hours is not out of hours, as those patients seen are registered at that practice.

My experience of the defence unions of the last 10 years or so is that they are becoming more heavy handed with their members.  Perhaps a clearing out exercise to try and off load those individuals that no longer fit their membership criteria.

So should indemnity go over to the crown?  You may think I am bias in my opinion, but I don’t believe this to be the best option for GP’s, as the cover is very limited and not always in the best interests of the GP involved.  What is required is competition in the market.  It is currently dominated by the three defence unions, offering cover on a discretionary basis, unregulated and not accountable to anybody outside of the unions.  Many other countries actually put in a minimum requirement for indemnity cover and that it is insurance based, therefore, regulated and accountable in a court of law.  I know competition can sometimes be a dangerous word in areas of healthcare, but if you think about it, many already view the indemnity as insurance cover.  The only difference is that it is not working in a competitive market, such as the insurance market that is global and highly competitive in it nature.  Perhaps it is time that the indemnity question is revisited, as the last outcome only rubber stamped the current method, but many things have changed since then.

Medical Insurance Consultants are able to assist you individually and as an entity/company in all indemnity requirements.  Call us today on 0800 163870 or visit our website

How Much Longer Will It Keep Going? – Medical Indemnity costs

The ways things are going at the moment the chances of reducing the amount that individuals pay to Medical Defence Organisations for medical indemnity or malpractice cover, over the next few years, are very slim indeed.  It seems that the Consultants who provide a good professional service to their patients without any problems are being penalised by those that are not so good and do have problems.  A fairly sweeping statement, but one I am sure that is at the root of a problem that will not go away.

Why should trouble free consultants not benefit individually when they have an clean track record?  Does this ring a bell – do the words co-operative or insurance spring to mind? They should do because this is one of the simple definitions defining co-operative and insurance.  But there is light years difference when comparing these two words.  One gives you a guarantee – the other does not.

Which one would you choose and which one do you think costs less? You would have thought that the medical indemnity offered by the cooperative would cost less.  In fact it is the insurance guaranteed cover that in most cases is cheaper.  How can this be?  It is not rocket science!  Individuals are assessed as individuals and from there insurers are able to establish the “risk factor”.  If say a consultant has not had any claims he/she will obtain a better premium than somebody (in the same speciality) who has had claims. The greater the risk to the insurers the greater the premium will be.

The other point to make is that the insurance cover gives you “a contract” that states exactly what you are insured against and the amount that you are insured for.  The other is discretionary.  Insurance provides guaranteed recourse options, the other does not.

How long will the “bulk assessment” continue?  The answer is – so long as the people in the co-operative are prepared to fund the people who make claims.  There is a good comparison in everyday life – Would you expect to pay the same premium, having not made a claim for the last 10 years, as a newly qualified driver driving the same type of vehicle as you?  I suspect you would not be too happy if you did.

So, how do you feel about the amount you pay for medical indemnity cover?

Contact Medical Insurance Consultants to discuss your medical indemnity options.

MIC Surgery Insurance awarded 5 Star rating

We are proud to announce that the MIC Surgery Insurance policy has been awarded a 5 Star rating by Defaqto, the independent financial rating company.  This rating confirms to our clients that the cover we offer is at the top of the pile, backed up with excellent customer support and advice.

We will not stop there however, as we are constantly looking at ways in improving the cover we can provide without costing our clients more in premium.  If you don’t have a Medical Insurance Consultants Surgery Insurance policy why not contact us on 0800 163870, email us on [email protected] or visit our website to receive your quote.

Consultants Private Practice Medical Indemnity Insurance Savings!

MIC recently released their new Medical Indemnity Insurance product to Consultants with a great reception. The product covers all indemnity needs for private practice and gives medico-legal helpline if you need it. We don’t blanket rate specialities, like most MDO’s, we look at you as an individual and quote you a price based upon your roles, income and history. Indemnity limits are available to suit your needs or the limits set down by the private hospital you may work for, be it £1 million, £3 million, £5 million or £10 million.

Current savings being achieved are at least 25% off your existing membership rates/premium.

To see what you could be saving just give us a call on 0800 163870 or email [email protected] .

Remember that MIC is not a one trick pony and can assist you in all your business insurance needs as well as many personal ones.

Welcome to the MIC blog

Welcome to the MIC blog where we will be talking about all things relevant to the insurance needs of healthcare professionals, including:

We will also be looking at issues raised by our clients, regulatory bodies and the insurance industry to give a better understanding to all.