Professional Indemnity Insurance for Veterinary Locums
It is important that any locum vet [] has professional indemnity insurance to cover themselves for any unexpected problems that occur and that could incur financial loss. This type of personal insurance may be provided by the practice you are working for, but an increasing number of veterinary practices are expecting temporary employees to have their own veterinary locum professional indemnity insurance.

A proper indemnity insurance policy, tailored as exactly to your needs as is possible, can help give you security and peace of mind from the worry of things going wrong for which you might be not be responsible, but for which you may be held accountable. You can not always anticipate how animals, particularly small animals, will react to a general anaesthetic, and surgery presents a risk to all creatures, from humans to mice.

Anything can happen and the first reaction of loving owners will often be to blame you. Further, he loss of a larger animal could involve significant financial loss to its owner who is going to seek redress. This is particularly so in the case of a successful thoroughbred racehorse, for example, or a winning greyhound, the loss of which could be financially devastating to the owner. Whose head is closest to the chopping block? Yours of course!

The question of responsibility is often one of who has the best lawyer, and professional indemnity insurance for veterinary locums is a must for a temporary employee who could be presented as the sacrificial goat. Notwithstanding this, because the majority of veterinary practices will stand by and defend their employees, it is still a good idea to be able to offer your own personal veterinary locum indemnity insurance when seeking a locum position.

Disadvantages of Veterinary Practice Professional Indemnity Insurance
If your professional indemnity insurance for veterinary locums is provided by the practice, you have the advantage that you don't pay for it. However, there are disadvantages for you and the veterinary practice:

  1. Should the claimant wait until your locum period is over before taking legal action against you, you will no longer be covered by the practice policy. You could be personally sued for negligence and unless you have a personal policy, you could lose your car, your house and everything else you own to pay the award if the claim was successful. Even if not, you might still have a massive legal bill to pay.

  2. If the practice names you as the temporary person covered while the person for whom you are standing is on vacation or ill, that person loses cover. What happens then if the regular vet is subject to claim while on holiday? That can easily happen and is a very serious situation that many practices will not gamble on.

Normally, most claims for professional negligence against a locum would be covered, but if the case is referred to the RCVS then they might declare it to be a personal professional negligence case and not relevant to the practice as a whole. You would then be personally liable, and a personal policy would resolve that problem for you and help you to sleep at night after the incident.

Advantages of Personal Professional Locum Indemnity Insurance for Locums
The first perceivable advantage of paying your own personal veterinary locum indemnity insurance for locums is that you are covered for errors no matter where you are working or what the personal insurance policy of the company is.

You will have personal professional indemnity cover for almost every conceivable occurrence, and will be covered for any locum work you, whether long or short term. Without it you may have to scrabble around trying to arrange cover every time you were offered a locum veterinary surgeon or nurse job.

Not only that, but you are liable to find it a lot easy to land a good vet locum job because you are not asking the practice to provide your insurance. That can be very important to some practices, particularly if they employ a large number of veterinary surgeons and nurses when the total professional indemnity insurance premium cost could be massive without you asking for a slice of the pie!

There are no doubts at all in the minds of those that are paying for them that personal professional indemnity insurance for veterinary locums is well worth the cost, and will pay for itself several times over each year in terms of the veterinary locum work that a personal policy will attract.

While it may be that some of the practices or veterinary centres that are seeking locums also offer free indemnity cover as part of the contract, those that have them never regret purchasing their own personal professional indemnity insurance for locums because it covers them even after they have left the veterinary practice in which the incident is alleged to have taken place.


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