Professional Medical Malpractice Indemnity

October 2011

FIPO has commissioned an independent enquiry into professional medical malpractice indemnity. This was prompted by the rising tide of clinical negligence litigation, general complaints and complaints about consultants to the GMC, all of which is being reflected in rising indemnity subscriptions. In addition, there are new insurers offering indemnification to consultants and there appears to be a need to analyse the cost benefits of both the traditional and the new indemnifiers.

An independent expert, Mr Kevin Mccluskie, ACII was appointed via BIBA, the British Insurance Brokers Association and he carried out an in-depth analysis of the market and interviewed the Medical Defence Organisations (MDOs) and the new insurers offering indemnification to consultants. Our thanks go to all the MDOs and insurers who cooperated in this report.

As part of this general review a detailed consultant questionnaire was carried out with over 900 consultant respondents from around the UK. This survey showed a lack of understanding by consultants about their indemnification and also anxiety about premiums and subscriptions which are rising more rapidly than income.

The results of the independent review and the consultant survey were revealed at a meeting on the 18th October 2011 at the Royal Society of Medicine, London. The speakers were Mr John de Bono, Barrister; Mr Dan Toner, General Counsel to Spire Healthcare; Mr Richard Packard, Ophthalmologist and Deputy Chairman of FIPO and Kevin Mccluskie, the FSA regulated independent insurance expert.

The salient points to note are


  • Litigation, legal costs and compensation awards are set to rise even further
  • Consultants are broadly ignorant about their indemnification and the terms and conditions which apply to them
  • The traditional MDOs offer different types of indemnity packages, as do the new insurers
  • Costs of premiums or subscriptions for indemnification are rising quickly and at a rate which exceeds increases in income
  • Some specialties (obstetrics and spinal surgery) are becoming so expensive to insure that many consultants will shortly be forced out of private practice
  • The overwhelming reason why some consultants change their indemnifier is to reduce premiums but the risk/benefits of such a change may not be fully understood
  • There is a need for an advisory service for consultants who are contemplating a change of indemnifier/insurer
  • The outcome of this review on professional medical indemnity is presented in a comprehensive report and also in a shorter summary ('brochure') by Kevin Mccluskie. In addition FIPO has produced a summary of the consultant survey. FIPO has also issued a Press release summarising the meeting at the Royal Society of Medicine.
  • For the brochure (shorter) independent indemnity report FIPO-BROCHURE-NOV11-10
  • For the FIPO consultant report¬†Click here
  • For the comprehensive independent indemnity report 2011-11-03MedicalMalpracticeIndemnity
  • For the FIPO press report Click here
  • For the Indemnity Meeting Programme IndemnityMeetingProgramme-1