Professional Indemnity Insurance (PII) Coverage
Why is it required?
All nurses and midwives are accountable for their professional practice and are required to have Professional Indemnity Insurance (PII) both to meet the PII standard and to comply with the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law Act 2009. QHealth and private hospitals are vicariously liable for and must indemnify the consequences of their employee nurse and midwife’s possible professional negligence. QHealth has sec 26c the Public Service Act 2008 (https://www.legislation.qld.gov.au/view/pdf/2017-06-05/act-2008-038) and the private hospitals have their own respective PI Insurance for that purpose.
Joining the NPAQ is a cost effective means of ensuring you are totally protected. Like the QNMU, in the event of a claim against a member, including in a birthing suite, the NPAQ insurance policy and legal backup service can combine to protect the member by holding the employer to account at law and ensuring that the midwife or nurse cannot be held liable in those situations. NPAQ legal backup service pays for the lawyers to stop the claim in its tracks to protect the nurse or midwife’s reputation and ensure that any claim for damages are paid by the employer and their insurers not the member or their insurer. The nurse/midwife member always comes first with NPAQ.
Whether you are a member of the QNMU or the NPAQ, all nurse and midwife professional indemnity protection processes are broadly the same under the respective policies for both organisations.
Joining the NPAQ is both cost effective and easy, giving you assurance of cover and peace of mind that you are complying with your professional obligations under the National Law.
Who checks that you have PII coverage and what are the consequences if you don’t have it?
The Australian Health Practitioner Regulatory Agency (AHPRA) carries out random audits of nurse’s compliance with the standard. If you have been untruthful in your renewal and have been found to be practising without PII coverage you may be subject to disciplinary action by the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA) and may have your registration suspended or cancelled.
The NPAQ PII Policy and legal backup service.
The Policy covers you Australia wide for:
- $10 million up to an aggregate of $60 million sum insured;
- Unlimited retroactive cover;
- Run-off cover for a period of 84 months.
There is also cover outside of Australia (excludes Canada and the USA). This is often applicable to volunteer postings overseas. Please contact us for confirmation if you are considering such a post.
Who is eligible to be covered under the NPAQ member PII Policy and legal backup service?
You must be:
- a financial member or a financial affiliate member, and maintain that status whilst you are working;
- a non-working member or affiliate who is registered with NPAQ in that capacity;
- a student nurse registered with NPAQ. (Students are covered for the entire period of their studies including whilst doing clinical placements as a student nurse);
- an Honorary Life Member of the NPAQ.
Who does the NPAQ member PII Policy and legal backup service cover?
- registered and enrolled employee nurses and midwives
- ancillary and related services to the health industry - care workers, assistants in nursing, administration and orderlies
- paramedics and ambulance officers
- dental nurses, pharmacists
- allied health professionals - physiotherapists, podiatrists, psychologists
- alternative or natural therapists - acupuncture, aromatherapy, naturopathy, massage and reflexology
- training, education and voluntary work in nursing
Who is not covered?
- Any member or affiliate who is not an employee. If you are working as an independent contractor nurse or midwife you are not covered for any work done in that capacity. If you are also an employee for part of your working week, then you will only be covered for that part of your week, but not for the time you are working as a contractor.
- Any nurse or affiliate working in the USA or Canada.
- Radiographers and sonographers.
- Employee midwives working for small private clinics may not be covered. (Check with us first)
What is covered?
- Civil liability for loss arising from any negligent act, error or omission.
- Where you are summoned to give evidence before a coronial inquest and you require legal representation.
- Defamation claims including accusations of inappropriate cultural safety practice.
- Good Samaritan acts where a nurse voluntarily renders nursing, life-saving or life-extending services at the scene of a medical emergency or whilst doing voluntary community service.
What is not covered?
- Criminal offences are not covered, nor are claims arising from gross negligence and/or dishonest, fraudulent or malicious breach of duty.
- Claims from any un-financial member unless you have registered with us as having ceased practice. In that case, the run-off cover will continue for another 84 months (seven years). Non-working members who have remained registered with us are still covered.
- Claims not notified to us in the insurance period in which the member became aware of the circumstances.
Does the member or affiliate have to pay any excess on a claim under the policy?
- No. Since 2016, the NPAQ has paid all excesses on all claims so no claimant (member or affiliate) has to pay any excess in the event of a claim.
Public Liability Insurance
All eligible members and affiliate members as described above are covered for public liability to $10 million (see Certificate of Currency for further details).