The idea of medical indemnity insurance can be quite daunting, and it can be difficult to know where to start. Seeking the correct professional advice is strongly advised so you can be sure that you are getting the best cover regarding your position and where you work.

There are three different types of medical indemnity and we’ve briefly broken them down for you so you can gain a wider knowledge on what the best cover for you may be.

Occurrence Based

Occurrence based indemnity provides cover for alleged incidents (injuries) that have happened during anytime throughout the policy or membership period, regardless to when the claim was reported. If you work for the NHS, you will tend to find that their indemnity-based schemes prove occurrence-based cover.

You may often find that occurrence-based protection will continue to respond to claims even if you choose to move insurance provider or when your membership period runs out. This is if the incident occurred during the period in which you were a member. For more advice on this it is advised that you consult your insurance provider.


Claims-based indemnity will only provide cover for incidents which occur during the policy or membership period. The claim would need to be made prior to the end of this period. It is important to note that once your policy or membership has expired and is no longer valid, no cover will be offered in the face of any new claims that may arise.

In order to make sure you remain protected against any further claims after your membership or policy has ended, you will need to require run-off cover. This will help to protect you against claims that were accrued but not reported during your policy or membership period.

If you are a health-care practitioner who no longer practice or provides health care services, you may still find yourself subject to claims of medical negligence in the future. This is where your run-off insurance would come into play. So, it is important to seek out the correct professional advice if you are planning to retire to avoid any claims that could be made against you.

Seek Professional Advice

Before we delve into the last type of medical indemnity, it is important to note that it is always recommended that you speak to a professional to get the right cover for you. If you’re based in the UK, organizations like Incision can provide expert advice on medical indemnity insurance and help provide you with the appropriate and accurate cover you need. Whether you’re studying to be a health care practitioner, are currently working in the industry or are planning to retire, you should always read-over any policies you may have and consult the expertise of your insurer to make sure that you are happy with your level of cover.

Contractual and Discretionary Indemnity

A contractual indemnity is an agreement between two parties. It is a contractual obligation to compensate for any damages or losses through a money payment.

Discretionary indemnity means that the defense organization cannot guarantee a pay-out. Your insurance provider has the flexibility to provide assistance when there is a tightly worded insurance contract that can preclude help.

Discretion means that your provider can offer help in unusual circumstances or where a new problem appears. This is hugely important in this field of work as the world of medicine is constantly changing. New challenges and issue can constantly arise, some of which were inconceivable a few years ago. It can occur, and it often does, that claims emerge during incidents that happened years ago. It is important to have a provider who can offer you the expertise and advise if a claim like this happened to occur.

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