Frequently asked questions

Why do I need professional indemnity?


Professional indemnity is a requirement for registered health professionals practicing in New Zealand.

Medicus is a New Zealand owned and operated not-for-profit membership organisation, with insurance provided through our brokers Aon, and AA- rated NZI, one of the country’s largest insurers. Medicus was established in 2010 to provide an insurance product, and to protect the interests of health professionals in New Zealand.

If a complaint is brought against you by a patient, having insurance through Medicus will ensure you have access to medico-legal advisors and that you are covered for any legal costs incurred or damages awarded against you. You may face actions being brought against you in many jurisdictions including, the Medical Council of New Zealand, the Coroners Court, the Health Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal, the office of Health and Disability Commissioner, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner and the Human Rights Review Tribunal to mention a few..




Doesn’t ACC cover me?


The Accident Compensation Act 2001 provides some protection against possible prosecution of health professionals for compensation and award of damages. However, there are a variety of jurisdictions in which a health professionals may require medico-legal assistance, or face complaints that do not fall under the ACC Act. In some of these an award of damages or compensation may be made against you.

You can read them here [INSERT LINK TO COMPLAINTS BLOG POST].

To be sure you are covered for such eventualities, you need the assurance provided by medical indemnity insurance.




What’s the difference between guaranteed and discretionary professional indemnity cover?


Historically indemnity cover for doctors and dentists in NZ has been provided by Mutual Scieties which offer discretionary cover. In this circumstance it is up to the discretion of the provider as to whether they will support you in the event a complaint is brought against you, or whether legal costs and/or awards of compensation will be paid.

Guaranteed cover means your insurer is legally bound to cover you under the terms of the insurance contract.

Medicus offers guaranteed cover through New Zealand's leading insurance broker, Aon New Zealand, which insurance is underwritten by AA- rated NZI, one of the country’s largest insurers.




I’ve signed up to get professional indemnity insurance – how long will it take for me to get cover?


New members can expect to have their insurance cover finalised within 1-2 business days unless there are issues to be clarified.




Does Medicus insurance provide savings to me?


Yes. We can confidently say that despite offering guaranteed cover under an insurance contract, we remain competitive on price.




Is it easy to join Medicus?


Yes – you can join Medicus through this website or by emailing us at nz.medicus@aon.com




What if I already have indemnity insurance?


If you already hold New Zealand indemnity cover you will be able to cancel your existing cover at any time, leaving you free to sign up with Medicus. However, you should check with your current provider that cancellation is available and won’t affect any existing indemnity notifications you might have with them. You should not cancel your existing cover until you have been accepted by Medicus, Aon and NZI.




Is my insurance cover New Zealand controlled?


Yes - All decisions about acceptance, cover and claims are made in New Zealand by New Zealand based entities.

Medicus offers guaranteed cover through New Zealand's leading insurance broker, Aon New Zealand, which insurance is provided by AA- rated NZI, one of the country’s largest insurers.




Can I get assistance 24/7?


Yes - Medicus members can contact us on 0800 156 975 for medico-legal guidance and support 24 hours per day throughout the year. We pride ourselves on responding quickly, and with high quality medico-legal advice when you need us.




Will I be involved in the selection of legal counsel and or expert advisors/witnesses?


The Medicus insurer has appointed a panel of legal advisers after consultation with the Board of Medicus. Members will be consulted as to the selection of one of the appointed legal advisers.

Your Medicus membership allows you to access our in-house medico-legal advisers at any point for support and guidance, should an incident occur. We will guide you every step of the way, providing guaranteed support when your reputation is at stake.

Our ethos is to go fast and early with good advice that leads to the best outcome for you.

Currently our lead legal advisors are Dr Peter Robinson and Gaeline Phipps. They are some of the most experienced lawyers in the medico-legal and professional accountability fields in the country.




Can all the registered health professionals I work with be insured by Medicus?


Yes and this is something that is unique to Medicus. In providing most medical procedures there may a team of health professionals involved, covering a range of disciplines. Our policy provides cover for any qualified and registered health practitioner – doctors, practice nurses, dentists, technicians, radiographers. When an incident occurs, it may involve a team of health practitioners and by having the whole team covered by Medicus, means we can provide holistic cover and support which seeks to deliver better outcomes for everyone.




How much Indemnity is provided by the cover?


Our policy currently provides a limit of $2,000,000 – Split $1,000,000 for claims payments and $1,000,000 for your defence costs and expenses associated with a claim.




Does Medicus provide unlimited retroactive cover?


When you join Medicus, your policy will provide cover for claims in respect of healthcare delivered in the past within New Zealand, except where knowledge of a claim or impending claim already exists.




If I cancel my policy with Medicus will I still be covered for the periods when I was a member?


No. To ensuring on-going indemnity is provided you need to continuously renew your policy. See “claims made” below.




What is meant by the expression "claims made"?


The Medicus policy is issued on the basis of "claims made". This means that the current policy responds to a claim for indemnity even though the event giving rise to the claim may have occurred in a previous policy year. To ensuring on-going indemnity is provided you need to continuously renew your policy.




What is Run Off cover?


“Run Off” cover is an insurance term meaning insurance indemnity is only required for past activities. When you retire, the insurance becomes in "run off". If you are no longer practicing in New Zealand or intending to take a break from practicing for a period of time, you will also need to consider maintaining current insurance in "run off". Discounted pricing applies (unless you qualify for the complimentary run off upon retirement).




Will I still be insured if I work overseas?


The Medicus policy is designed to provide indemnity for claims arising from your work in New Zealand. The policy does not insure you for work that you undertake overseas. It is recommended that you keep separate insurance in the country where you elect to work.

It is also important to consider obtaining "run off" insurance for the work you have done previously in New Zealand.




What happens when I retire?


As a member benefit, qualifying Medicus members who have insured continuously with Medicus for not less than three years prior to retirement from all practice will receive complimentary on-going insurance cover at nil additional cost.




Am I insured for defamation claims arising from my professional practice?


Yes - Defending you against allegations of defamation arising out of your practice are covered within the insurance policy extensions




What if I am going to locum in Australia on a short-term contract?


Just as you would if working overseas, you would need to arrange insurance in Australia for any locum work you do there. At this time we are unable to arrange cover for you outside New Zealand.

However, the following websites may be useful: www.aon.com.au, www.avant.org.au, www.miga.com.au




Will I be notified when my cover is due to be renewed?


Medicus offers guaranteed cover through Aon New Zealand. Aon will send an initial reminder six weeks ahead of expiry and will follow up afterward.




Will I still be covered if my cover expiry date passes?


Renewal is expected to be undertaken some time ahead of the expiry date if a lapse (or what is referred to as change in the “retroactive date”) is to be avoided. Continuity of cover would be at the discretion of the insurer.