What is Contingent Medical Malpractice Cover (CMM)? (Formerly Professional Liability Insurance - PLI) 

It is cover that helps protect you professionally if a claim is brought against you, by a client/patient, due to an [alleged] error they may have encountered whilst you were carrying out your professional duties. 

What does it cover? 
Unite’s CMM provides cover for claims made against you arising out of negligent errors or omissions committed by you in the course of your occupation or ‘good Samaritan’ acts’. It also covers your legal liability to pay compensation and costs/expenses in respect of accidental personal injury (including needle stick injuries which may result in HIV/Hep or damage to third party property). 

Cover is provided on a contingent basis. This means that your employer must have primary medical malpractice insurance and primary public liability cover in place. Unite CMM comes into operation to protect you should your employer’s primary cover fail. 

Who needs CMM? 
Anyone who: 

  • Provides advice to clients/patients 
  • Handles patients’ data 
  • Provides a professional service 
  • Is vulnerable to a claim of negligence because the professional advice fails to meet a client’s expectation 

Why join Unite and choose Unite’s CMM? 
CMM can give peace of mind for members working in the health sector (NHS and non-NHS organisations), in that if things go wrong, then there is help available for them. You should check with your employer to establish if they are providing primary cover. 

As a health professional you will be acutely aware of the increasingly litigious nature of society. As a result, we are able to offer an additional member benefit that entitles you to join our CMM Scheme which provides up to £5 million cover for claims made against you by a patient, colleague, or member of the public. 

How much is it? 
The cost is only £15 per annum or £1.25 per month – a fraction of the price that this type of cover would normally cost (some members automatically get this as part of their membership). 

The Health Care and Associated Professions (Indemnity Arrangements) Order 2014 
As of July 2014, the UK Government has introduced legislation which requires registrants to have a professional indemnity arrangement in place as a condition of their registration. This directive means that all healthcare workers dealing with patients will need public liability cover; both to protect the patient and to cover themselves in the case their practice is questioned.   

Who is covered by Unite CMM? 
Certain groups of Unite members have automatic CMM cover included in their membership at no extra cost. If in doubt, please check with your representative or regional office. 
The groups who are automatically covered include: 

  • Members of Community Practitioners’ and Health Visitors’ Association (CPHVA) 
  • All Registered Nurses (excluding midwifery) 
  • Members of the Mental Health Nurses’ Association (MHNA) 
  • Members of the Society of Sexual Health Advisors (SSHA) 
  • Members of College of Healthcare Chaplains (CHCC) 
  • Counsellors, Psychotherapists & Arts’ Therapists 
  • Perioperative Practitioners (including Theatre Nurses, Operating Department Assistants and Operating Department Practitioners) 
  • Registered osteopaths 

All existing members of the above professions have CMM included as part of their subscription. Any new members of the above professions joining the union also have CMM included as part of their membership subscription rate. 

Some members of the not-for-profit sector are also included in the scheme including: 

  • Clergy 
  • Disabled Housing Trust Carers 

All other health professional members of Unite, whether in the health sector or any other Unite sector (including veterinary practitioners) may choose to buy into the Unite voluntary CMM scheme. 

Please note that the scheme provides contingent cover only and does not cover private or self-employed work 

Basis of Cover 
The policy is dependent on your employer having ‘vicarious liability’ for any work you undertake in your job.  Vicarious liability means an employer will be liable for the acts or omissions of its employees and ensures a financial remedy can be given when something has gone wrong and harm caused.   This would be through a negligence claim made against your employer.  Alongside this, most professional associations and trade unions have contingent cover in place for additional protection, in the unlikely event of your employers cover failing. The Unite Contingent Medical Malpractice scheme is such a policy. 

We recommend that NHS employees should note the NHS arrangements for vicarious liability. The provisions in respect of this scheme are different in England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales. 

Eligibility and range of cover 
You can join the scheme provided you are a fully paid up member of Unite and are a practitioner who is in full, or part-time employment, or undertaking voluntary work. 

In addition to the general professional liability, the Unite policy also covers: 

  • ‘Good Samaritan’ Acts 
  • Agency Workers 
  • Overseas work (except Canada and USA) 
  • Independent prescribing (pharmacists only) 

When does cover not apply? 

  • As this is a contingent liability based scheme it does not provide cover for self-employed work. 
  • Cover is not available under this scheme for midwifery or for members working in Canada or the USA. 
  • Cover does not operate if you membership has lapsed. 

Cover Limits 

  • Contingent Medical Malpractice: £5,000,000 any one occurrence (£10m in the aggregate) 
  • Public Liability: £5,000,000 any one occurrence (£10m in the aggregate) 
  • HIV/Hepatitis Non A: £500,000 any one occurrence & in the aggregate 

You can download this information as a leaflet below.

Please contact your local Unite regional office 

Unite the Union is an introducer appointed representative of Alan Boswell Insurance Brokers Ltd. Alan Boswell Insurance Brokers Ltd is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.