Medical Defence Organisations vs. Insurance Companies for Medical indemnity – Which is right for you?

In the United Kingdom, healthcare professionals are required to have medical indemnity insurance to protect themselves in case of any claims of negligence or malpractice.


March 1, 2023

Two types of coverages are commonly available for healthcare professional: medical indemnity offered by medical defence organisations (MDOs) and medical malpractice insurance provided by insurance companies. In this blog, we will explore the differences between the two types of coverage and their respective pros and cons.

Medical Indemnity offered by Medical Defence Organisations:

Medical defence organisations are membership-based organisations that provide medical indemnity insurance to their members. They also offer support and guidance to their members in case of claims of negligence or malpractice. Some of the most popular medical defence organisations in the UK are the Medical Defence Union (MDU), the Medical Protection Society (MPS), and the Medical and Dental Defence Union of Scotland (MDDUS).

Benefits from MDO’s:

One of the main advantages of medical indemnity offered by MDOs is that it is tailored to the specific needs of healthcare professionals. These organisations have a deep understanding of the unique risks faced by healthcare professionals and offer a range of benefits, such as legal representation, clinical support, and regulatory guidance, to help their members manage these risks.

Another advantage is that MDOs provide an ongoing service to their members. This means that they can provide support and guidance throughout a claim, including advice on how to reduce the risk of future claims. This can be particularly helpful for healthcare professionals who are new to the industry or who are dealing with a particularly complex claim.

Disadvantages of MDO’s:

One of the main disadvantages of medical indemnity offered by MDOs is that it is not as flexible as medical malpractice insurance. MDOs typically have a set of standard policies that they offer to their members, which may not be suitable for all healthcare professionals. This means that healthcare professionals may end up paying for cover that they do not need or may not have enough cover to protect themselves adequately.

Another disadvantage is that MDOs are not regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). This means that their policies are not subject to the same level of scrutiny as those provided by insurance companies. As a result, there may be less transparency around the terms and conditions of their policies.

Medical Malpractice Insurance provided by Insurance Companies:

Medical malpractice insurance is provided by insurance companies and is typically purchased as a standalone policy. These policies are designed to provide cover for claims of negligence or malpractice and can be tailored to the specific needs of healthcare professionals.

Benefits of Insurance Companies:

One of the main advantages of medical malpractice insurance is that it is highly flexible. Insurance companies can offer a range of policies with different levels of cover, deductibles, and limits. This means that healthcare professionals can choose a policy that is tailored to their specific needs and budget.

Another advantage is that insurance companies are regulated by the FCA. This means that their policies are subject to strict scrutiny and oversight, and healthcare professionals can be confident that they are getting a high level of protection.

Disadvantages of Insurance Companies:

One of the main disadvantages of medical malpractice insurance is that it can be more expensive than medical indemnity offered by MDOs. This is because insurance companies have higher overheads and need to make a profit.

Another disadvantage is that insurance companies may not offer the same level of ongoing support and guidance as MDOs. Healthcare professionals may need to seek advice and support from other sources, such as legal professionals or regulatory bodies.

We care for you. While you care for others.

At Medicas, we use our clinical expertise to provide clients with clear, concise, and supportive information to help them make the best decisions in clinical practice. Supported by our clinical and legal panels, we aim to educate and raise awareness within clinical communities.

As a specialist Lloyds broker focusing on healthcare, we provide clients with bespoke insurances in Medical Malpractice, Medical Liabilities, and Life-Sciences. Our risk-managed led approach ensures our clients benefit from risk-mitigating relationships and strategies.

To learn more about how Medicas can help you with your Indemnity or Risk management, get in touch with Dr. Edwin Rajadurai or our specialist team.

NB: This article is not intended to replace any legal advice or responsibilities that you may have. This article is posted for educational purposes only.

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