Professional Indemnity Insurance

Professional Indemnity Insurance

Optometry Australia is delighted to announce that we have partnered with BMS Risk Solutions Pty Ltd to bring you a new Lloyd’s of London Professional Indemnity Insurance (PII) policy to protect you in the practise of your profession from 30 November 2018.

Each year, as part of our continuing assurance to bring you the best cover, we regularly review the marketplace to ensure that we are meeting our obligations. We know that through BMS and Lloyd’s we are delivering on our commitment to you by providing you with a PII cover that far exceeds the minimum requirements imposed by the Optometry Board of Australia for registered optometrists.

We are excited by what this new cover offers to you such as assistance with regulatory complaints, civil lawsuits, criminal charges and cyber crime. Full policy, summary of features and certificate of currency are available below:

Full Policy Schedule 2018

PII Highlights Brochure

Certificate of currency – BMS PII Policy Nov 2018

When do I need to notify the insurer?

The triggers to notify an incident or notification in our policy are as follows:

You must tell us in writing as soon as practicable of any incident or claim including, but not limited to:

a. a patient suffering a major complication; or

b. there is an error made, causing harm; or

c. an adverse outcome results in significant anger in your patient or their family; or you receive a
letter from a solicitor indicating dissatisfaction or requesting a patient record; or

d. you are concerned that an incident has occurred (including a complaint, investigation or inquiry)
which you think may lead to a claim.

You must notify us in writing as soon as practicable of any matter that will lead you to request cover under this policy including (but not limited to) any prosecution, inquiry, inquest, investigation or complaint, judgment, appeal, dispute that may be covered by this policy which relates to your business as an optometrist.

If you do not tell us of an incident or claim as soon as practicable, you may not be covered under this policy and your right to any cover may be significantly reduced by us.

How do I notify the insurer?

To report an incident or claim you must notify us in writing or on the BMS dedicated Optometry Australia Insurance hotline 1800 290 976 or email optometry@bmsgroup.com.

Your notification must include your details, the details of the incident or claim including the date of the incident giving rise to the claim, the patient’s name and details of any allegations. Free legal advice will be provided to you from our dedicated team who are adept in advising on allied health cases and appropriate management for the case commenced.

If you are uncertain if you have met the triggers for notification or would simply like discuss a case with a fellow optometrist you are welcome to call our Member Services and Optometry Advancement team at any stage on 03 96688560, or email national@optometry.org.au.

We would like to emphasise that we have secured for you a policy with nil excess on all claims and that all communications in this process are completely confidential. (Your employer or AHPRA are not notified during this process).

In the Event of a Claim 

OA Incident Report Form 

Working Overseas?

Out of country charity or aid organisation cover

If you are practising with a recognized charity or aid organisation you are provided with automatic, free cover for <120 days of work in one insurance period (1 December to 30 November each year). Excludes USA.

Optional UK / NZ extension now available

An extension to your base policy can be easily obtained to facilitate cover for optometrists working in the UK/NZ and Australia.  This add on extension is available for a small additional fee and covers claims brought against you in all 3 jurisdictions. More information is available from the BMS dedicated Optometry Australia Insurance hotline 1800 290 976 or by emailing optometry@bmsgroup.com

Please note: An ‘Out of Country’ cover is automatically included for all members under this new policy.  This protects you against a case being brought against you in an Australian court for work performed overseas.  You will still need to obtain PII cover in the country you are working in for claims brought against you in that jurisdiction. Please note this limit does not apply to charity cover or optional UK/NZ extension which cover jurisdictions overseas and at home in Australia.

Risk management

Our Practice Notes page has factsheets on professional indemnity insurance, risk management and a risk management checklist - full of useful tips to help you avoid a claim.

Watch our recent webinar on Legal Protection While Practising for more helpful tips on staying safe.

Who is BMS?

Our new partner BMS Risk Solutions Pty Ltd (BMS Group) works with many associations in Australia and with the Canadian Optometrists Association to provide extensive experience in protecting the Allied Health sector.

The BMS Optometry Australia PII policy, provided by Lloyd's is tailored to our profession, and created with input from optometrists. It provides access to industry-specific, evidence-based risk management and will continue to evolve to meet the needs of our profession and our expanding scope of practice.

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