Doctors Professional Indemnity

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In today’s litigious culture, medical malpractice cases against medical professionals are increasing. Many factors contribute to the alarming rise of claims. This includes patient empowerment, technological advancement in healthcare, economic factors, and more. Medical malpractice claims can arise from a variety of situations, such as surgical errors, wrong diagnoses, medication mistakes, or other professional negligence. Medical malpractice claims can be financially and professionally devastating for healthcare professionals. Having professional insurance for doctors can protect them from the costs associated with court settlements, legal defence, or judgments.

What is professional insurance for doctors?

Professional insurance for doctors is an indemnity insurance that gives financial protection to doctors, in case they are sued for alleged negligence or errors in the course of their medical practice. Medical negligence insurance typically covers court costs, legal expenses, and court settlements or judgments up to the policy limits. Coverage in policies may even extend to disciplinary proceedings and licensing board investigations.

How much does malpractice insurance cost for doctors?

Professional indemnity insurance for doctors’ premium rates varies depending on various factors. This includes medical speciality, level of experience, location, policy type, coverage limits claim history, etc. Doctors can obtain quotes from different insurance providers, and compare them based on the needs before making a decision.

While buying professional insurance for doctors, it is important to consider the retroactive coverage option available. Let us understand more about retroactive coverage and its importance.

What is retroactive coverage in professional insurance for doctors?

Retroactive coverage, often referred to as “prior acts” coverage, is an important aspect of professional insurance for doctors, especially in the context of medical malpractice insurance. It provides coverage for claims arising from incidents that occurred before the current insurance policy’s effective date.

Why retroactive coverage is important?

Here are some of the reasons that make retroactive coverage important in professional insurance for doctors.

  • Coverage for a past act

Retroactive coverage allows doctors to be protected for claims related to incidents that occurred before the current policy’s inception. Sometimes, patients may file claims long after an alleged incident. Hence having coverage for past acts is important to ensure comprehensive protection.

  • Covers claims of long-tail nature

Retroactive coverage ensures that the doctor is covered for long-tail claims. This means claims that may arise well after the event is also covered. 

  • Continuous coverage

Healthcare professionals may change insurance providers, switch policies, or start a new practice. Retroactive coverage ensures that there is no gap in coverage when transitioning between policies or carriers. Continuous coverage is essential to maintain protection for any potential claims that may arise.

  • Comprehensive protection

Retroactive coverage protects doctors against unforeseen circumstances and ensures coverage for incidents that may not have been immediately apparent. It helps them maintain a professional reputation and stay compliant with regulatory requirements. 

Let’s understand this with an example. Let us assume Dr. A has been a practising surgeon for the last 20 years and has coverage under insurance for surgeons. Let us say Dr. A decided to go for a different insurer for better coverage benefits and the new policy is effective from 01st Feb 2024. Moreover, the new policy has retroactive coverage with effect from the year 2020. Now, let’s assume there’s a medical negligence claim filed against Dr. A for a surgery he performed in the year 2020. This is when retroactive coverage comes into play. Even after the policy switch, Dr. A gets cover for the incident that occurred before the date of inception of the new policy.


Retroactive coverage is a critical component in managing the risks associated with a doctor’s professional liability throughout their career. It ensures protection for doctors against claims stemming from incidents that occurred before the effective date of the current policy. Doctors get continuous and comprehensive coverage throughout their careers.

About The Author

Saloni Mishra 

MBA Insurance Management

With an illustrious career in the insurance sector, Saloni is a distinguished writer specializing in articles concerning doctor professional indemnity policies for SecureNow. Leveraging 12 years of hands-on experience, she understands the intricate nuances of professional indemnity insurance tailored specifically for medical professionals. Her articles offer invaluable insights into the significance of doctor professional indemnity coverage, addressing the unique risks and challenges healthcare practitioners face. Renowned for their expertise and attention to detail, Saloni is committed to providing readers with informative and actionable content that empowers them to make informed decisions regarding their insurance needs.