Did you know you can be a member and hold insurance with more than one Medical Defence Organisation (MDO)?

As an intern or doctor in training, medical indemnity insurance is complimentary or low cost with most providers. This provides you with the perfect opportunity to explore your options and find out what each MDO has to offer.

When a situation arises and you need medico-legal advice, calling MDA National and comparing our expertise and personalised service, will help you make an informed decision. When you have more responsibility as a registrar or consultant and the time comes to commit to one insurer, you will have peace of mind that MDA National will provide you with the unwavering support and the protection you need, so you can focus on providing outstanding patient care. 

Things to consider when choosing your MDO include:

  • Service: Who provides you the most timely, relevant and personalised advice and support, when you need it most?
  • Policy coverage: Do you have comprehensive cover protecting you against medical board investigations, Medicare audits, employment disputes, medical college training disputes or other areas important to you?
  • Claims or investigations management: How will your claim or investigation be handled by your MDO? Will you have a dedicated and experienced case manager? 
  • Education: What resources are available to you? Do they cover medico-legal or ethical issues which may not have been included in your medical school curriculum? This could include face to face college accredited workshops or webinars, podcasts or blogs. 



Yes, you can!  Most MDO’s provide complimentary membership and insurance cover for medical students, interns and doctors in training. We believe it is important that you have the option of signing up with multiple providers to experience the service and benefits offered. This will help you decide which MDO you prefer to remain with for your future medico-legal and professional indemnity needs. 
Yes.  If you hold membership and insurance with multiple providers you can choose which MDO you obtain medico legal advice from in each instance. 
You can contact multiple MDO’s to obtain medico legal advice. If you have obtained advice from one MDO and the matter progresses to a claim or investigation, it is recommended that you continue to allow that MDO to continue to manage that matter. 

If you hold insurance policies with more than one MDO to cover your medical practice, you can claim indemnity from whichever MDO you choose. However, you cannot claim from more than one MDO for the same matter. The concept of ‘dual insurance’ is covered under legislation in the Insurance Contracts Act 1984 (Cth) (Act). Dual insurance occurs when a person is insured against the same risk with two different insurers.

Insurance policies also include ‘other insurance’ clauses that exclude or limit an insurer's liability if the policy holder has cover available under another policy. While this is a standard exclusion under professional indemnity policies, it can only be applied to the extent allowed under law and as outlined in the Act. If both policies exclude cover through ‘other insurance’ provisions, the clauses cancel each other out, and both policies can respond.

This means the MDO who handles and incurs the costs of the claim can seek contribution from the other MDO. The contribution is negotiated between the two insurers and should not have any impact on you as the member or policy holder. 

As an intern, you will have access to cover through your employer or the State Government however, hospital indemnity may not provide the broad cover you need. Without your own indemnity cover, you could be liable to personally fund some medico-legal matters.

It is important you have access to independent legal advice or a second opinion to protect your best interests. Focus on your internship knowing that MDA National will support you in the moments that matter, so you can keep on striving as your career progresses. 

Read more about the importance of medical indemnity

Our Professional Indemnity Insurance Policy is designed to provide you with peace of mind and extensive cover: 

Up to $20 million cover for civil liability claims
made against you arising from your provision of healthcare services. You are also covered for the legal costs incurred in defending you for those claims. This includes claims against you: 

  • made by a patient or a third party arising from your provision of healthcare services 
  • arising from Good Samaritan acts worldwide
  • resulting from unintended breaches of privacy legislation
  • arising from you reporting another healthcare professional in good faith and in the public interest
  • involving a practice entity in which you have an ownership interest
  • arising out of your provision of healthcare services in a clinical trial
  • arising from overseas practice in certain specific circumstances
  • arising out of allegations of defamation made against you


Sublimit of $2,000,000 arising from legal costs* for: 

  • investigations by a Registration Board or Professional Services Review Committee
  • inquiries including proceedings by
    • a professional body,
    • health services authority,
    • medical tribunal,
    • Royal Commission,
    • Coroner's Court,
    • criminal court,
    • health or medical benefits fund,
    • Medicare,
    • the Australian Information Commissioner or Anti-Discrimination Board (or equivalent)
  • a professional or administrative body that you are required to pay
  • allegations of criminal conduct or sexual misconduct*
  • assistance with self-referral to a health program under the National Law in relation to an impairment that affects your provision of healthcare services or your clinical training  


Sublimits of $100,000 * for legal costs arising out of each one of the following:

  • cover for certain employment and credentialing disputes* 
  • disputes in relation to your involvement in training with a medical college
  • pursuing defamation allegations by you in relation to your provision of healthcare services.*
  • seeking an Apprehended Violence Order
  • defending alleged breaches of Competition and Consumer Act and fair trading legislation 


Sublimit of $100,000  for the replacement or restoration of lost or damaged documents or data related to your provision of healthcare services*. 

Sublimit of $100,000 cover for a range of communicable diseases payable as a lump sum one-time payment.* 

Sublimit of $250,000 for fines, penalties and mandatory notification costs arising out of an unintended breach of privacy legislation.* 

Sublimit of $20,000 for loss of income up to $2,000 per day,
for a maximum of ten days, for loss of your personal income because of your attendance at court for the defense of a civil liability claim against you. 

*Subject to the terms and conditions of the current Professional Indemnity Insurance Policy 

^Subject to certain eligibility criteria. Specific covers may be excluded for overseas practice. 

#No cover for Cosmetic (other than procedures covered under the Non Procedural General Practitioner Category) or Obstetric work unless directly supervised by a medical practitioner qualified to perform such procedures.

For more information please read our Professional Indemnity Insurance Policy Combined Financial Services Guide (FSG), Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) and Policy Wording and Supplementary FSG and PDS including Amendments to the Policy Wording from our Download Centre.

As a new doctor, you're still learning and as an intern, you're likely to experience a number of first-time experiences such as:

•  your first coroners request or death certificate 

•  providing your first police statement

•  bullying from a colleague, harassment from a patient or a dispute with your employer

•  a medical board complaint or investigation

These scenarios are just a few examples of the many situations where you may find yourself unsure how to proceed or where to go for help. MDA National’s priority is to support you in these moments. We’re here to guide you through your journey as a medical professional, 24/7. To find out more about when you should call MDA National, read our “Don’t sweat the small stuff” article here.

MDA National will be there for you in the moments that matter, so that you can keep on excelling as your career progresses.