Cookie policy notice

By continuing to use this site you agree to our cookies policy below:
Since 26 May 2011, the law now states that cookies on websites can ony be used with your specific consent. Cookies allow us to ensure that you enjoy the best browsing experience.

This site is intended for health professionals only

At the heart of general practice since 1960

GP indemnity becomes legal requirement

GPs are now legally required to have professional indemnity insurance to protect them in case they are sued, at a time when indemnity fees are rising.

Previously, the GMC required GPs to have indemnity cover where necessary, but since August GPs are legally required to have cover to comply with a European Union directive.

The Department of Health has introduced a legal requirement giving healthcare regulators powers to require all registrants to have adequate and appropriate indemnity.

The directive is to guarantee that patients from one EU state who seek treatment in another have access to redress if something goes wrong, according to the Medical Defence Union.

This month, the Family Doctor Association reported that GP indemnity costs have increased by 25% in just one year, with the average annual fee for a GP doing 10 sessions a week going up to £11,320.

Earlier this year, Pulse reported that one GP was quoted £30,000 for annual indemnity by one provider.

Some GPs have signed deals with insurance brokers has independently of the medical defence organisations due to concerns over rising fees.

Matthew Lee, director of professional services at the MDU, said clinical negligence claims against GPs are increasing. 

‘The number of new GP claims notified to us has been rising by over 15% a year for the past five years and compensation awards are also increasing steadily.’

Readers' comments (15)

  • ' with the average annual fee for a GP doing 10 sessions a week going up to £11,320.'

    Odd; I do 10 sessions and pay less than £9000.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Not even news.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • 2:02pm

    the average may reflect those GPs that do OOH and individual risk costs

    the good news is that as our job gets riskier the expense of defense fees will rise whilst our income will fall but it's all worth it to keep the faultless NHS going.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • "with the average annual fee for a GP doing 10 sessions a week going up to £11,320"

    I think that's about as much as Jeremy Hunt thinks we should be paid.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • I think it is very important to have indemnity cover.
    In this day and age you can be sued for even a petty thing which is ridiculous.if you are practising in other European country it is really important.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • What we actually need is a public enquiry into how this rise has happened at a time when people are living longer than ever - it just doesn't make sense. Why aren't the BMA investigating the probity of the parts of legal profession who are inflating these claims and distorting the market to the extent that it has serious implications by threatening the viability of NHS services? There is no way this is a healthy, properly functioning market. Mark my words, something dishonest is happening here and it needs the national crime agency to look into it.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Litigation is rising everywhere.

    When you look at the proportion of secondary care work that is now being done in primary care with very limited resources and requiring difficult audits with software that is not appropriate and decreasing resources, it is no wonder that this is occurring more in primary than secondary care. Mind you litigation is also on the rise in secondary care as well

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • It had never occurred to me that anyone would consider that practicing without indemnity cover was an option...

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Odd; I do 10 sessions and pay less than £9000.

    Shh! Don't tell. But even 9% of your hundred grand is a bit steep!

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • because of the high indemnity costs loads of GPs are underinsured

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

View results 10 results per page20 results per page

Have your say

IMPORTANT: On Wednesday 7 December 2016, we implemented a new log in system, and if you have not updated your details you may experience difficulties logging in. Update your details here. Only GMC-registered doctors are able to comment on this site.