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Indemnity Insurance FAQ

  • What is indemnity insurance?
It is insurance that means that if someone (such as a service user) is harmed in some way because of the negligence of a registrant, the service user will be able to recover any compensation they may be entitled to from the insurer, rather than from the registrant themselves.

All statutorily regulated healthcare workers in the United Kingdom (except social workers in England) are required to have ‘appropriate’ professional indemnity insurance cover in place as a condition of their regulatory regime.

All practitioners who are voluntary registered by a register accredited by the Professional Standards Authority (PSA) are also required to have appropriate professional indemnity insurance cover in place as a condition of their regulatory regime.

  • Does this mean that I should arrange professional indemnity insurance?

Not all registrants need to take out separate professional indemnity insurance. Such insurance can be put in place through one or more of the following:

  • A professional indemnity arrangement through an employer.
  • A professional indemnity arrangement as part of being a member of a professional body, trade union
  or defence organisation.
  • A professional indemnity arrangement obtained directly through an insurer.

RCCP anticipate that the majority of its registrants will already be covered by professional indemnity insurance through one of the above provisions and will not need to take any additional action.

  • What does ‘appropriate’ cover mean?

This means that the arrangement you have in place will need to provide cover appropriate to your practice, taking into account the nature and extent of its risks.
This level of cover will need to be sufficient to meet any liability that may be incurred if a successful claim is made against you. What is appropriate cover for you may depend upon a combination of factors, including, for example, the following:

  • The practice area or areas you work in.
  • The service users you work with.
  • The risks involved with your practice.

RCCP expects its registrants to make their own decisions about the level of cover which is appropriate to them, seeking advice as appropriate from their professional body, trade union, defence organisation and / or insurer.

  • I am employed. What does this mean for me?

If you only work for an employer, then your employer is very likely to have professional indemnity arrangements in place which will provide appropriate cover for all the relevant risks related to those activities that you perform as part of your job.

Arrangements may, however, vary between different employers, so if you are unsure, you should always check with your employer.

An employer’s arrangement will only provide cover for activities performed by an employee as part of their duties during the course of that employment.

  • I am self-employed. What does this mean for me?
If you are self-employed and you provide services to service users which for which you are paid directly by the service user then you must make sure that you have put in place your own arrangements for professional indemnity as a condition of your continuing registration with RCCP.  RCCP will require evidence of that insurance certificate as part of your annual renewal declaration.
  • I provide my services through a limited company. What does this mean for me?
If you own a company and you have 'significant control' over that company (for example, if you own more than 25% of the shares in the company) and you provide services to service users which for which the company is paid directly by the service user, then you must make sure that your company has put in place arrangements for professional indemnity as a condition of your continuing registration with RCCP.

If you have 'significant control' of a company, then you will probably have filled in a declaration with Companies House.
  • I undertake a combination of employed and self-employed roles. What does this mean for me
If you are an employee and you also undertake some self-employed work, you need to ensure that you have arrangements in place for all of the risks arising from your self-employed work, as this will not be covered by any arrangements put in place by your employer.

You must have arrangements in place which provide appropriate cover for all aspects of your work.

  • I am an educator and do not have any contact with service users. Do I need to have a professional indemnity arrangement in place?

You should assess whether your work exposes you to risks which might give rise to claims from others, such as students. If you are employed, your employer or education provider is very likely to have made professional indemnity arrangements which will provide appropriate cover for all the relevant risks related to those activities you carry out as part of your job.

Arrangements may, however, vary between different employers or education providers, so if you are unsure, you should always check with your employer or education provider.

For further profession-specific advice or support, you should consult your professional body, trade union, defence organisation or insurer, in order to make reasonable, informed decisions about the level of cover appropriate to you and your practice.

  • I need to secure a professional indemnity arrangement for my practice and / or check that my existing level of cover is appropriate. Where can I find further guidance or support?

It is a requirement of registration with RCCP that all registrants to ensure that they have an appropriate professional indemnity insurance in place to cover all their professional activities. What might be appropriate cover for one registrant may be inappropriate for another registrant. You must to make sure that you consider the risks which may arise from your own practice and make sure that you have a professional indemnity arrangement in place which provides cover which is appropriate to those risks.


RCCP cannot advise about the level of cover that you need and does not currently provide indemnity insurance. For further profession-specific guidance or support, you should consult your professional body, trade union, defence organisation or insurer, in order to make reasonable, informed decisions about the level of cover appropriate to you and your practice.

  • I am registered with the RCCP but not practising at the moment. Should I arrange appropriate indemnity insurance?
We recognise that professionals may sometimes be registered with us but not be practising for short periods of time. For example, they might be on a career break or looking for employment.

If you are not practising, then your actions should not pose a risk, however if you begin to practice again then you should reconsider your situation and ensure that your work is covered by indemnity insurance.

If you have previously made your own professional indemnity arrangements, but are no longer practising and considering cancelling your arrangement you need to think about this carefully. You need to understand how your cover will work. This includes having in place appropriate ‘run-off’ cover, in order to ensure that a service user will be able to recover any compensation they may be entitled to as a result of your actions while you were practising, even if you are no longer practising at the point at which a claim is made. You should consult whoever provides your professional indemnity arrangement (e.g.an insurer or a professional body) directly so that you can make sure that any necessary arrangements for run-off cover are in place.

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