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How does corporate indemnity differ from employers’ liability insurance?

If you employ staff then you are responsible for their health and safety. 

Employers’ liability insurance provides protection should an employee be injured or become unwell whilst in your employ and seek compensation. 

Corporate indemnity protects your organisation from claims of clinical negligence against it, in relation to patients under its care. 

Are there monetary limits on a corporate associate membership?

There are limits which are established at the time the membership is set up. You can set the limit for both single and aggregate claim values, which then affects the cost of corporate associate membership. Usual limits are £1m, £5m, £10m or £15m, although we will consider other limits upon request.

What different options do I have if I want protection at an organisational level?

You have several options. You can choose:

  • group membership which offers individual membership with occurrence-based protection, with the option for third party payer and administration
  • corporate associate membership which indemnifies the organisation and some roles within the organisation on a claims-made basis 
  • a combination of the two. 

How do you calculate what and when I pay for corporate associate membership?

The cost of corporate associate membership is based on:  

  • the nature of the work your organisation undertakes and the risk associated with this
  • the number and type of roles included within the membership
  • the limits you chose to apply to your single and aggregate claims 
  • the base risk of the specialty area you operate in.    
You can chose to pay either in one, two or four payments across the membership year. 

How do I protect my organisation as well as my staff?

If your company is a legal entity, such as a limited company, then it can be sued in its own right. It would therefore require corporate associate membership to protect it from claims of clinical negligence. 

Staff working for the organisation can be included within the terms of a corporate associate membership but for some roles, including doctors and advanced nurse practitioners, we recommend they hold their own membership with occurrence-based protection as well, through either an individual or group arrangement. 

Many organisations have a combination of a group arrangement and corporate associate membership to offer protection for their organisation and their staff.

Could a situation arise where the organisation was not found to be at fault but the claim was upheld against an individual? What would happen in those circumstances?

If the claim was made against both a clinician with their own indemnity and the organisation but only the individual was at fault, then the individual should look to their own indemnity or insurance provider to cover the claim. With corporate associate membership of Medical Protection, you could ask us to defend the claim in relation to the allegations made against the organisation only.  

If the claim was made against an individual whose role was included within the terms of the corporate associate membership and it was their act or omission that gave rise to claim, then the organisation would be entitled to request indemnity and assistance from us.

Is there a minimum number of staff that I have to have to set up a corporate scheme?

There is no minimum staff number but we do have a minimum subscription value for corporate membership. Speak to us about this when you enquire.

Can I buy retroactive cover for any claims reported during my membership once the corporate associate membership ends?

This depends on the provider that you are moving your corporate membership to. Most providers or insurers do offer this as a standard option.

Can my arrangement be extended so staff who have claims-made indemnity under the terms of corporate associate membership get additional benefits, such as support in the event of a data breach, regulatory proceedings or a criminal investigation?

Corporate membership includes advice and assistance with incidents and complaints against the corporate entity. This includes advice and assistance with data protections complaints and near misses but would not extend to the payment of fines.

We can provide individual membership entitling members to seek assistance with regulatory and other matters outside negligence claims. You may find this is not necessary if employees already receive these benefits through membership of organisations, for example nurses have these protections through their Royal College of Nursing membership.

I'm already with another indemnity provider for my organisation. Are there any issues or drawbacks if I switch to you?

Please speak to us about your specific circumstances. Usually a retroactive start date for your corporate associate membership will ensure that there are no gaps in protection when you transfer to Medical Protection. We do not offer retroactive start dates as standard, however we are happy to explore this with you on a case by case basis. 

Can we ask for assistance at an organisational level if a clinician's individual indemnity provider does not agree to defend or settle a claim?

If the clinician has individual membership with a defence organisation or a private insurance policy and they are deemed to be liable for the incident that gave rise to the complaint/ claim then the corporate associate membership would not extend to that claim. We would support the Corporate Associate member in directing the claim to the appropriate indemnifier / insurer with whom liability rests.

What happens if we move to another indemnity provider?

To ensure that there are no gaps in protection you should ask your new indemnifier to provide you with a retroactive start date on your new membership or insurance policy. This date should include the period of membership that your organisation held corporate associate membership with Medical Protection. 

What happens if a claim is made against an individual who was included in my corporate associate membership but has since left my organisation?

The corporate associate membership is held at the organisation level, so providing the organisation is still in active membership and the adverse incident also occurred during the period of membership, you would be able to request assistance from us.

What happens if my organisation closes?

If the organisation is wound up and struck off the register of companies, it no longer exists and therefore it is not possible for a claim to be brought against it and corporate associate membership is no longer required.  But whilst it remains a ‘live’ organisation and is registered with Companies’ House (regardless of whether or not the organisation is still delivering clinical services) it should retain corporate membership to protect against clinical negligence claims arising from when it was treating patients.  

Why can’t I include doctors in a corporate membership arrangement?

Corporate associate membership only provides access to indemnity for clinical negligence claims. Unfortunately doctors are increasingly likely to find themselves subject to complaints, regulatory proceedings or even police investigations. 

For this reason doctors are required to have individual membership which provides access to assistance, including legal advice and representation, rather than corporate membership which doesn’t. 

It is also common for doctors to undertake work in multiple locations and specialise. So individual protection is required to ensure they have the personal protection they need.

For the same reasons, employers sometime chose to make sure advanced nurse practitioners also have their own individual protection arrangements, rather than being included in a corporate associate membership. 

You can arrange membership with occurrence-based protection with us for a group of doctors and nurses you employ, with or without additional corporate associate membership.

Is being included in corporate membership sufficient for my practice nurses and healthcare assistants?

From a regulatory and legal perspective being included within the terms of corporate associate membership on a claims-made basis is sufficient for these clinicians.  

Some employers still want their staff to have access to the additional membership benefits which are provided with individual membership with occurrence-based protection, such as support with regulatory matters. Others are only concerned with protection in the event of a clinical negligence claim, which the corporate associate membership provides.

Should all my employed nurses have their own membership or be included in a corporate membership?

As an employer, you are likely to be liable for the acts and omissions of your nurses. It is your decision whether to protect the nurses you employ through individual membership with occurrence-based protection (which you can choose to manage centrally with a group membership) or within the terms of a corporate associate membership. 

As a guide, we recommend more advanced nurses – those prescribing or treating patients presenting with acute or undiagnosed conditions beyond initial triage – have their own membership with occurrence-based protection. This is because claims against practitioners working at this level can arise many years after the adverse incident occurs and so membership with occurrence-based protection can provide greater peace of mind. 

Individual membership with occurrence-based protection also gives the member access to non-indemnity benefits, such as regulatory support, which they may be more likely to require than an employee working at a less advanced level.

Is claims-made indemnity cheaper than occurrence-based indemnity?

Claims-made protection is generally lower in price for the first year of membership. This is because during year one of your membership, you are paying for protection for claims that both arise from practice, and are reported in, that year only. 

In later years, you are paying for protection for claims that both:

  • arise from practice during your active membership with Medical Protection
  • are reported within your years of active membership.
Consequently, as time goes on and the accumulated risk increases, the cost of your annual membership will steadily rise as the risk matures.

What is the difference between membership with claims-made protection and membership with occurrence-based protection?

Claims-made indemnity is normal for corporate associate membership. For us to provide assistance an adverse incident must occur, and we must be notified of the resulting claim, within your period of active membership. 

Adverse incidents should be reported as soon as practically possible after the event. An adverse incident is any event or circumstance that might give rise to a claim of clinical negligence against the corporate associate member. Find out more about incident reporting requirements.

Adverse incidents should be reported as soon as practically possible after the event. An adverse incident is any event or circumstance that might give rise to a claim of clinical negligence against the corporate associate member. Find out more about incident reporting requirements.

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