Protect Your Practice

A Practice Manager or Practice Owner commonly obtains insurance to protect the practice entity against loss. Loss may be in the form of physical damage to the property, loss of income or financial loss where a third party seeks compensation. An example of each includes: a naturally occurring incident such as a storm that damages the practice building; an accidental event such as a patient falling on the steps outside the practice; or perhaps even negligence such as the practice failing in their treatment to a patient.

Cover for your Practice

Professional or medical indemnity covers are designed to cover the civil liability of a healthcare professional. Individual professional or medical indemnity policies generally cover the individual only with limited cover for the actual entity or practice.

Practices have separate risks and exposures that may not be covered by an individual practitioners insurance, it is important you consider that you have appropriate insurance coverage based on your specific practice needs. You should seek professional advice around the practice and individual requirements.

Whilst not an exhaustive list the types of general and life insurance products to consider are:

Business Products Individual Products Management Products
Practice Medical Indemnity Insurance # Individual Medical/Professional Indemnity Insurance # Directors’ and Officers’ Liability Insurance
Public Liability (Optional public liability insurance with Avant Practice Medical Indemnity Policy) # Income Protection Management Liability Cover
Product Liability Public Liability Insurance (Contractors may not be covered under a business’s public liability insurance) Crime Cover
Business/Property Insurance Life, Trauma and Total and Permanent Disability Insurance Cyber Cover
Workers Compensation Private Health Insurance Business Owner Expenses
Tax Audit (sometimes included with other coverage such as Practice Medical Indemnity Insurance or Business Insurance) Travel Insurance # Key Person Insurance
Landlord Insurance    

# Learn more about Avant Insurance’s Policies

Insurance products

Practice Medical Indemnity Insurance * generally provides cover for claims for compensation against the practice entity and the practice partners/principals, directors and employees in connection with the provision of Healthcare. It could cover

  • failure of practice protocols, including systemic failures that could result in multiple claims
  • liability assumed as a partner or employer
  • breaches of patient privacy by staff
  • errors by practice staff or where the patient sees multiple doctors

Individual Practitioner Indemnity Insurance * generally provides cover for a medical practitioner’s individual liability arising from the healthcare services they provide to patients.

Public Liability generally covers personal injury or property damage caused to a third party.
Optional public liability insurance with Avant Practice Medical Indemnity Policy #

Products liability generally provides cover to a third party for damage they sustain by using the insured’s products.

Business Property Insurance should be considered in light of individual practice circumstances. You will need to determine cover levels and the options to include/exclude as part of your policy. There are a broad range of covers available of which some are listed below:

  • Accidental damage
  • Property Loss
  • Burglary / theft
  • Machinery Breakdown
  • Contents (fire, flood)
  • Computer Breakdown
  • Business Interruption
  • Glass and signs
  • Employee Dishonesty
  • Public Liability
  • Fidelity Cover

You may also find that your insurer provides Tax Audit Cover. Check with your insurer to confirm coverage.

Workers Compensation. All employers are required to have a workers compensation policy to cover their employees where they suffer an injury as a result of working for their employer.

If you hold property and act as a landlord you may also need to have Landlord Insurance; this would cover you for issues relating to tenants.

Individual insurance products should be considered by key personnel in or associated with the business.

Income protection: whilst most employees will have personal leave entitlements, income protection provides cover in cases where someone suffers a major trauma event and was unable to work for an extended period. It may be that the practice provides this cover for the manager as part of their employment package.

Life & TPD: similar to key person insurance, the practice may take out a policy on a principal / director to cover the financial impact should that person die or be unable to continue working. The benefit of the policy is paid to the practice.

Management products assist business to continue operating in the event of different triggers.

Directors and Officers policies generally cover the personal liability of company directors and officers as individuals (Side A cover), but also the reimbursement of the insured company in case it has paid the claim of a third party on behalf of its managers in order to protect them (Side B or Company Reimbursement Cover). Listed stock companies can also obtain cover for claims against the company itself for a wrongful act in connection with the trading of its securities (Side C or Securities Entity Cover).

Management Liability Covers vary but are generally designed to protect you and the company against the risks and exposures of running the company (i.e. your liability for mismanagement).

Crime Cover Fidelity/Crime Insurance generally protects organisations from loss of money, securities, or inventory resulting from crime.

Cyber Covers vary but generally cover things like crisis management, hiring a public relations firm to manage a data breach incident, costs associated with forensic analysis, the cost of repairing and restoring computer systems if there is a virus that destroys business software and data, and the loss of business income resulting from a data breach.

Business Owner Expenses are similar to income protection products but provides payments for qualified "overhead" expenses.

Key person insurance: This is often used to cover a situation where a partner / practitioner is unable to work and contribute income. Often the policy can be taken out by the practice or by the other parties who rely on the person who is covered under the policy.

Review your policies

You should review your cover at least annually, or if there is a significant change in practices circumstances.

Under the Insurance Contracts Act 1984 (Cth), before you enter a contract of insurance and when you renew, extend or vary an insurance policy you have a duty to disclose every matter that you know, or could reasonably be expected to know, that is relevant to the insurers decision to accept the risk of the insurance and the terms of the insurance. Not informing your insurer of the true nature of your practice may affect your ability to claim.

You should always read your policy schedule and Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) or policy wording to ensure that your provider is covering what you expect them to cover and not excluding areas that may affect your ability to claim.

For example: Does your Public Liability insurer cover treatment risk? If treatment risk is excluded this may impact your ability to claim should a patient slip and fall in your practice.

You should also be aware of your obligations with regard to reporting events or incidents so that you do not compromise any potential claim.

Avant Practice Medical Indemnity Policy *

The Avant Practice Medical Indemnity Policy provides protection to medical practices over and above the individual policy you have as an individual practitioner and ensures that the business side of your practice is protected.

The Avant Practice Medical Indemnity Policy provides cover for claims against you, your practice and your partners, directors and employees.

New optional Avant public liability insurance *

Avant now offers optional public liability insurance to cover you and your practice for claims for compensation in respect of personal injury or property damage made against your business, providing an efficient and comprehensive insurance solution.

Other support insurers may provide include risk management tools.

Check the additional services your insurer may provide that will help you manage your risk.

Avant Mutual Group offers access to a range of risk management tools and resources including:

  • Medico-legal advice when you need it, even 24/7 in emergencies
  • Risk Management resources – Avant Risk IQ
  • Case studies.

To find out more on how you can manage your practice risk with an Avant Practice Medical Indemnity Policy call 1800 128 268 or visit

* Professional indemnity insurance products, including Practice Medical Indemnity, available from Avant Mutual Group Limited ABN 58 123 154 898 (Avant) are issued by Avant Insurance Limited, ABN 82 003 707 471, AFSL 238 765 (Avant Insurance). Life risk insurance products available from Avant are issued by Hannover Life Re of Australasia Ltd ABN 37 062 395 484 and are distributed by Avant Insurance. Private health insurance products are issued by The Doctors’ Health Fund Pty Limited, ABN 68 001 417 527 (Doctors’ Health Fund), a member of the Avant Mutual Group. The information provided here is general advice only. Any advice here does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. You should consider whether the product is appropriate for you before deciding to purchase or continuing to hold a policy with us. For full details including the terms, conditions, and exclusions that apply, please read and consider the policy wording and PDS, which is available at or by contacting us on 1800 128 268. Information on this site does not constitute legal, professional or financial advice, and is current as at the date of initial publication.

Next page

Professional Indemnity Insurance
  • Do you have the right medical indemnity insurance structure for your practice?
  • Professional Indemnity Insurance
  • Protection for you as a practice manager
  • Why Choose Avant’s Practice Medical Indemnity Policy?

This publication is proudly brought to you by Avant Mutual Group. The content was authored by Brett McPherson, reviewed by Colleen Sullivan and Avant Mutual Group.

This publication is not comprehensive and does not constitute legal or medical advice. You should seek legal or other professional advice before relying on any content, and practice proper clinical decision making with regard to the individual circumstances. Persons implementing any recommendations contained in this publication must exercise their own independent skill or judgment or seek appropriate professional advice relevant to their own particular practice. Compliance with any recommendations will not in any way guarantee discharge of the duty of care owed to patients and others coming into contact with the health professional or practice. Avant is not responsible to you or anyone else for any loss suffered in connection with the use of this information. Information is only current at the date initially published. © Avant Mutual Group Limited 2014.

IMPORTANT: Professional indemnity insurance products and Avant’s Practice Medical Indemnity Policy are issued by Avant Insurance Limited, ABN 82 003 707 471, AFSL 238 765. The information provided here is general advice only. You should consider the appropriateness of the advice having regard to your own objectives, financial situation and needs before deciding to purchase or continuing to hold a policy with us. For full details including the terms, conditions, and exclusions that apply, please read and consider the policy wording and PDS, which is available at or by contacting us on 1800 128 268. Practices need to consider other forms of insurance including directors’ and officers’ liability, public and products liability, property and business interruption insurance, and workers compensation and you should contact your insurance broker for more information. Cover is subject to the terms, conditions and exclusions of the policy. Any advice here does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. You should consider whether the product is appropriate for you before deciding to purchase or continuing to hold a policy with us.