Nurses and midwives are accountable for their professional practice and are required to have professional indemnity insurance (PII)
- to meet the PII Standard and
- to comply with the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law Act 2009 (National Law).
Click here to download the 2022-23 QNMU PII policy certificate of currency
(See below for previous years)
How do I meet the NMBA’s PII Standard?
- You must not practise unless you are covered by appropriate PII arrangements, which cover your full scope of practice (s.129 National Law).
- Your PII MUST include:
- civil liability cover
- unlimited retroactive cover,
- automatic reinstatement, and
- run-off cover.
Civil liability cover covers you for a claim that is made as a result of a negligent act, error or omission resulting from your practice.
Retroactive cover means you are covered against an issue that arose before the policy commenced where you were not aware of the circumstances which gave rise to a claim, or you were not aware of the issue, before you became a financial member. The QNMU’s retroactive cover applies for an unlimited period if another policy was not in place.
Automatic reinstatement allows for the amount insured to be reinstated for new, unrelated claims, after one or more claims have been paid to the limit of the amount insured.
Run-off cover means you are covered against an issue that occurred while a financial member of the QNMU, but where the claim is made within a certain period after you stop practicing or you are no longer a member of the QNMU.
AHPRA can check your compliance with this Standard at any time. If you fail to be truthful on your renewal form, you may be liable for disciplinary action by the NMBA, or face criminal charges.
Similarly, if you practise without appropriate PII, you may be liable for disciplinary action by the NMBA. This may result in the NMBA denying your registration.
The QNMU’s PII policy
One of the benefits of being a financial member of the QNMU is peace of mind that you are covered for PII.
Eligibility for cover
To be eligible for cover, you must be:
- a financial member of the QNMU and maintain your financial status
- providing nursing/midwifery services*
- an employee or an independent contractor**
- a student member undertaking a clinical placement as a nurse or midwife.
* Please note that midwives in private (independent) practice, self-employed or not working under a contract of employment are not eligible for cover.
** PII for independent contractors is conditional. Please contact the QNMU for circumstances under which it is available.
What exactly is the policy, and what does it cover?
The policy indemnifies eligible members for claims against negligence and other civil claims that may arise from a breach of your duty as a nurse or midwife (subject to the terms and conditions of the policy being met and any applicable exclusions). The policy also provides retroactive cover, automatic reinstatement and run-off cover.
QNMU members are also covered when:
- acting as a nurse for the Sports Injury Nursing Association
- working or volunteering as a nurse anywhere in the world except North America (i.e. USA and Canada and their Territories and Protectorates)
- providing some ancillary or related services such as podiatry and/or pedicure services, cosmetic injections, aromatherapy, naturopathy, massage and reflexology as recognised by the QNMU^.
^ If you provide these services please check with the QNMU to see if you are covered by PII.
These are some of the common types of claims covered by the policy:
- Negligence claims.
- Where you are summoned to give evidence before a Coronial Inquest.
- Defamation claims against you.
- “Good Samaritan acts” – for example, where a nurse provides nursing, life-saving or life extending services rendered unnecessarily at the scene of a medical emergency or during voluntary community service.
How much cover does the QNMU policy provide?
The limit of liability is $10 million for each claim and $70 million for accumulative.
This covers compensation as well as your legal costs, the plaintiff’s legal costs and expenses within the protection limit.
Does the policy have any exclusions or conditions?
The QNMU’s PII does not cover you if you are charged with a criminal offence.
Some of the major policy exclusions include:
- claims from an unfinancial member.
- any claim, costs, or expense arising out of midwifery activities while in private (independent) practice – for example, home birth midwives.
- nurses from a private (independent) practice where the business is operated as a partnership, joint-venture, company, trust, foundation, under a business name or any other entity other than the member’s own name.
- any claims arising from dishonest, fraudulent, criminal or malicious breach of duty.
- known claims made against a member that are not notified to the insurer during the insurance period (from 1 July to 1 July each year) in which the member first became aware of a circumstance.
- any claim for loss or damage where a member has:
- by deed or agreement foregone, excluded or limited a right of recovery
- acted outside the normal course of practice
- performed any work while under the influence of intoxicants or drugs.
- Acts of terrorism.
Please note this is not a complete list of exceptions, and conditions and cover is subject to acceptance by the QNMU insurer.
Please contact us if you wish to check whether your specific circumstances are covered by our PII policy.
The policy is written on a “claims made” basis. Members must immediately inform the QNMU of any incident that may lead to a claim so that the insurer can be notified during the policy period.
Types of claims to immediately report to the QNMU are:
- an unexpected death of a patient/resident
- an adverse outcome of a patient/resident in your care
- a complaint against you alleging negligence with regard to the care you provided to a patient/resident
- an allegation that you have defamed someone in the course of your employment
- a request by your employer/Office of the Health Ombudsman/Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency(AHPRA)/Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA) to respond to a complaint regarding your conduct as a nurse/midwife with respect to a patient or resident in your care.
- a request by the police/employer/Coroner to provide a statement in respect of a patient/resident in your care
Public and Products Liability insurance is included in the QNMU policy (claims made basis).
The QNMU’s PII policy includes Public and Products Liability Insurance cover. The limit of liability is $10 million for each claim and $70 million in the aggregate.
Failure to notify the QNMU of an incident may lead to a claim being denied by the insurer.
A member must not make any admission, offer, promise or indemnity without first seeking the consent of the insurer.
Why the QNMU’s PII is one of the most comprehensive coverages on the market
- Employer insurance policies vary widely with regard to the extent of cover they provide to nursing or midwifery employees.
- The NMBA puts the onus upon the individual nurse or midwife relying upon employment PII to ensure that an employer’s PII policy meets the NMBA registration standard.
- If a non-member is audited and their employer’s cover does not meet the standard, AHPRA can take disciplinary action against the individual for non-compliance with a registration standard.
- Some employer insurance policies require the employee to have practised ‘conscientiously and diligently’ in order to be covered. Such policies are not consistent with the mandatory need to have cover for acts that result in a negligence claim.
- “Vicarious” cover is unlikely to meet the PII registration standard.
- Joining the QNMU is the easiest way to ensure they meet the PII registration standard.
- The QNMU’s insurance for members is both PII and Public Liability Cover.
- There is no excess to be paid by QNMU members.
Click here to view a printable PDF version of the above information.