Paragraph 63 of the GMC's Guide to Good medical practice contains a requirement for doctors to maintain adequate insurance or indemnity cover. This was enacted into law in The Health Care and Associated Professions (Indemnity Arrangements) Order 2014. By law doctors and dentists need medical indemnity.
On 6th December 2018 the Department of Health and Social Care issued a White Paper entitled "Appropriate clinical negligence cover". This paper expresses the DHSC's desire to disallow discretionary mutual cover for clinical negligence. If this is implemented the cover provided by all of the MDOs would not meet the legal requirement.
All doctors must be covered by Medical Indemnity by law. As doctors increasingly group together, and often form companies, to deliver medical services there is a strong argument that the group or entity should buy indemnity, rather than the individual doctors. This would both be consistent with Professional Indemnity Insurance purchased by other professions and the Clinical Negligence Scheme for Trusts which covers NHS Trusts and associated entities. Insuring at the entity level tackles the growing issue of vicarious liability claims in medicine.
There is a vast range of risk in medical practice. Some surgeons treat patients with medication more often then they perform surgery. Others perform a range of non-invasive testing. Other surgeons are involved in child birth and physical brain surgery, both high risk activities.
The absolute minimum premium for medical indemnity is around £2,500 which would include legal expense cover for disciplinary, Coroner's Court and even Criminal proceedings. Insurance for most individual doctors will be less than £99,000, unless the doctor has a particularly lively claims record.
Entity insurance can prove attractive. Insurance for an entire medical business will be over £10,000 at the lowest end, but even businesses delivering riskier services are often insured for a total price around £100,000.