Professional Indemnity Insurance or Medical Malpractice Insurance – What’s The Difference, and Which is Best for Me?

On the surface, professional indemnity insurance and medical malpractice insurance might seem similar. They both offer a similar sort of protection – cover for any legal fees and compensation that might arise from mistakes you make on the job.

Many professionals can get by with a standard indemnity insurance policy. But in some sectors, professional indemnity insurance isn’t enough. If you provide any form of healthcare or ancillary services to patients, then you’ll need specialist medical malpractice insurance.

In this post, we’ll explore the key differences between professional indemnity insurance and medical malpractice insurance, to help you decide which type of cover is right for you.

If you work as a medical professional you’ll need Medical Malpractice insurance rather than Professional Indemnity

What is Professional Indemnity Insurance?

Professional indemnity insurance will cover you should a client claim they suffered a financial loss as a result of following your professional advice or using your professional services. So in effect, professional indemnity insurance covers you for any mistakes you make in your work, including bad advice, inadequate services, and even poor design choices.

The exact type of cover a professional indemnity insurance policy provides will depend on your profession. But your policy could include cover for claims of:

  • Negligence or dishonesty.
  • Defamation.
  • Intellectual property infringement.
  • Information security and privacy breaches.

You can read our complete guide to professional indemnity insurance, and what it covers, here.

What is Medical Malpractice Insurance?

Medical malpractice insurance is a form of professional indemnity insurance. But whereas standard professional indemnity insurance only covers the risk of financial loss, medical malpractice insurance covers professional situations where an error of judgement can literally mean life or death.

Medical malpractice insurance covers you for damages or claims expenses from your patients or their families arising from physical injury, mental anguish, mental illness, disease, disability, sickness, shock, and even death.

There are two main types of medical malpractice insurance policies:

  • Occurrence Policies – These will cover you for medical malpractice claims no matter how much time has passed since the incident occurred. This sort of policy can cover you for incidents that happened years ago – even if you’re now retired, or you no longer work at the same place.
  • Claims-Made Policies – These will only cover you for incidents that occur, and are reported, while you hold the policy. This sort of policy is usually more affordable than a claims-made policy. But they’re not as comprehensive, as they won’t cover you for historical events.

Professional Indemnity Insurance vs. Medical Malpractice Insurance – Which is Right For Me?

Unless you work in healthcare, then you’ll almost certainly be able to get by with a standard professional indemnity insurance policy.

But if you do work in the healthcare sector in any capacity, then most professional indemnity insurance policies will not provide sufficient cover for the risks of your job. Instead, you’ll need a specialist medical malpractice insurance policy.

This sort of cover is essential for anyone who provides any form of healthcare or ancillary services. So if you work in any of the following professions, you should consider medical malpractice cover:

  • Doctors, nurses, GPs, physicians, surgeons, pharmacists, anaesthetists, and other frontline practitioners.
  • Dentists, chiropractors, podiatrists, dermatologists, and other specialist healthcare providers.
  • Psychiatrists, counsellors, therapists, and other mental health specialists.
  • Physiotherapists, massage therapists, and other therapeutic care providers.
  • Veterinarians.

Do I Need to Get My Own Medical Malpractice Insurance Policy?

Your employer should already have a group medical malpractice insurance policy in place. However, their group policy might only cover you for certain situations and at certain times.

If you’re concerned that you might not have full cover, talk to your employer. Ask for details about the sort of policy they have. And if you spot any gaps in the policy that might leave you vulnerable, then consider getting your own medical malpractice insurance policy to cover the oversights.

If you’re self-employed as a sport physiotherapist, a massage therapist, a counsellor or similar, then you won’t have an employer’s group policy to fall back on. In this case, you should certainly get your own medical malpractice insurance policy as soon as possible.

Got Any More Questions About Medical Malpractice Insurance?

We have a detailed guide to medical malpractice insurance full of essential information, including how much you might expect to pay for cover. Find it here.

Want to find out more about getting a personal medical malpractice insurance policy? Head here to get a free quote in minutes.

If you have any questions or would like to discuss your options please contact our Tapoly team at You can also call our help line on +44(0)207 846 0108, or try our chat on our website.