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What is indemnity and why do you need it?

13 October 2020

What is indemnity?

Indemnity is defined as “[financial] protection against possible damage or loss/protection against having legal responsibility for something” .[1]

Clinical negligence indemnity gives doctors protection against patient claims. 

Many doctors will experience a claim or complaint at some point in their career, and it can have a huge impact on their reputation and finances. If a clinical negligence claim is made against you, you can request protection from your indemnity provider to cover any legal and compensation costs that arise. 

At Medical Protection, our indemnity is discretionary. This gives us the flexibility to provide assistance when issues arise that may not have existed when your protection began. 

Why do clinical negligence claims happen? 

Patients have the right to make a complaint about any aspect of the care they receive, for example in the following situations (this list is not exhaustive):

  • Their diagnosis was incorrect or missed altogether
  • Their diagnosis or treatment was delayed due to clinical failures
  • They suffered complications post-surgery
  • They did not give adequate consent for the treatment they received 

Sometimes the patient may be eligible for financial compensation and make a claim. Claims can be substantial, but you can request indemnity from your provider to cover these costs. Medical Protection do not place limits on the indemnity that can be requested. 

What happens when a claim is made? 

We encourage our members to contact us as soon as an incident occurs, so that we can offer advice on what to do next. Early intervention is key and can sometimes prevent an incident escalating into a full legal case.  

At Medical Protection the claims process is split into the following stages: 

For full details of how we handle a claim, see 8 stages of the clinical negligence claims process

What is the difference between indemnity and insurance? 

Indemnity has the flexibility to consider each case on its own merits and is not bound by policy limits or exclusions, whereas insurance has defined policy exclusions and limits. 

Medical Protection works in partnership with the MMA and our indemnity cover meets the Malaysian government requirements for APC renewal. 

We recently hosted a webinar on this topic entitled ‘Medical Defence and Indemnity: What does it mean for you?’ (Tuesday 27 October).

Why choose Medical Protection as your indemnity provider?  

If faced with a claim, you need the reassurance that someone is working to protect your reputation and finances. You also need someone you can rely on to provide expert advice and guidance when you need it most, and this is where Medical Protection excels. 

As a member, you get access to the largest medicolegal team of any medical defence organisation. With our experts by your side, you can request indemnity for complaints arising from a range of different situations. 

What makes our premium protection such excellent value for money is the wide range of benefits you receive. Medical Protection membership includes:

  • The ability to request advice and legal representation
  • Support from our expert medicolegal teams
  • Access to a range of CPD and professional development resources, including workshops and online courses
  • Our local knowledge and expertise from decades of working with doctors in Malaysia

Click here to view the full list of benefits and find out how to become a member. 

Our team 

Medical Protection is a global company operating in many countries, but we have a dedicated team looking after our members in Malaysia. We have a claims team internally but also work closely with our panel law firms on the ground to provide assistance to members.  


Read about our medicolegal team here

More information

If your questions are not answered here, please feel free to contact us.

You may also wish to read our FAQs on discretionary indemnity.