Medical Malpractice/Professional Liability

APM has entered into an arrangement with BGi Insurers.  We’ve done this because we feel that they offer the best cover, the best value for money, and the best customer service.  We have no interest in the arangement (that is, we get no benefit of any sort from recommending them), our recomendation is made entirely on the basis of what we feel is a good deal for our members.

To take advantage of this, make sure you list The Academy of Physical Medicine in section 1.4 (Membership of professional organisations).  Here’s the link to the application form:  BGi Medical Malpractice/Professional Liability (APM Discount)


It’s a condition of registration for all osteopaths and chiropractors to have adequate indemnity in place.  This means both professional indemnity (aka medical malpractice) and public liability.  In theory, this can be done otherwise, but in reality normal mortals will take out an insurance policy.

Osteopaths and chiropractors registerd in the UK must have indemnity cover of at least £5m, and it has to include what’s known as “run-off cover” (indemnity that covers historic liabilities) for all periods that you have been in practice.

Here are some considerations that you must take into account:

  • Make sure you have checked and are happy with any exclusions stated in your policy.
  • Make sure you understand the definitions of terms contained in your policy.
  • Your policy should provide cover for legal liability attributed to partners, co-directors, and associates or agents who work with or for you.
  • Your policy should provide cover for any products you supply or manufacture, whether in the UK or abroad.
  • Make sure that the place/s that you work are covered by public liability insurance (whether or not you are yourself the policy holder).


  1. Claims made or Claims Occurring 

It is important that you make sure that if

a.      Your new policy is written on a ‘claims made’ basis that it provides retroactive cover to take care of events that happened in the past – but only come to light during the year of insurance.

b.      Your new policy is written on a ‘claims occurring’ basis that there is a mechanism introduced that historic claims from previous years are insured.

  1. Public Liability, Malpractice, Products Liability, Premises/Occupiers’ Liability, Property Owners Liability’

You might or might not need all of these insurance covers – but check to make sure you have what you need.

  1. Indemnity to Principal

If you engage a therapist to work with you/for you and you insist they carry their own insurance, it is important that you make sure it is suitable and will indemnify you as the principal. If you are invoicing for the practitioners work it is most likely that any claim for damages will be made against you. If the therapist’s insurance does not include your name or an ‘indemnity to principals’ clause you could be left to settle the claim.

  1. Vicarious Liability

This is a rule of law that imposes strict liability on employers for the wrongdoings of their employees. Generally, an employer can be held liable for any wrongful act committed while an employee is conducting their duties (and sometimes even when it seems they are not!). Take particular care over the definition of “employee” (see below).

  1. Employer’s Liability

If you engage someone to work with you on a regular basis and from the same place – then they will probably be considered an “employee” by the law and by the tax authorities – whether or not you pay ‘’PAYE’.

If a person is injured whilst working for you as an employee, this becomes your liability irrespective of responsibility.  This can be a rather grey area – take special care.

  1. Data Protection and GDPR

Data is valuable and you owe a duty of care to those whose data you hold. In the event of a breach there are four basic steps to follow:

a.       Contain

b.       Assess

c.       Notify

d.       Review

How expensive is a data breach?

In addition to the costs of dealing with the breach (such as communicating with all of your clients when you don’t have access to your computers) you can also be fined 4% of your turnover.

Basic Cyber Hygiene is critical to your wellbeing – your insurance should cover the costs of rectifying any breaches.

  1. Commercial/Business Insurance

If your business develops and you engage more practitioners you will need to consider a host of other “risks” that you can insure – or carry yourself.  Carefully consider the risks to which you will be exposed and then decide if you want to carry those risks – or lay them off to an insurer. If in doubt, find a good insurance broker.

  1. Geographical & Jurisdictional restrictions

Make sure that your insurance will cover you where you trade. There are two aspects to this.

a.       Where in the world is the insurance cover valid?

b.       Which courts in the world can be used for defending a claim made against you?

You might also want to check if the insurance provided will allow you to work ‘on-line’ – and, if it does, the restrictions that apply.

  1. The Cost of Insurance

Is the amount you pay for insurance inclusive – or will there be other costs incurred each time you want to change the cover, add a therapy or a treatment. Some insurers will charge each time you make a change. If you have a problem, can you speak to the insurers or are you left talking to a robot. If you have a question, is there someone you can speak to, quickly. Check this out before you part with any cash.

  1. Additional Benefits

Some of the facilities designed to provide insurance for Practitioners and Therapists are very limited in scope whilst others are designed with an holistic approach. Value for money is invariably better than cheap.

If you’d like to speak to someone about this (and as mentioned above, their customer service is excellent), call Sophie on 01367 246157.