It is illegal to practice midwifery in Australia without professional indemnity insurance (PII).
Most midwives meet this registration requirement by virtue of being employed. If you are an employed midwife, you do not need to purchase insurance for the midwifery care you provide as an employee, as long as your employer holds a vicarious professional indemnity cover.
However, if you are a self-employed midwife (in private practice), whatever the size of your caseload, you need to ensure you have professional indemnity insurance for your practice.
If you practise midwifery without appropriate PII arrangements in place, this is an offence in subsection 129(1) of the National Law and you are liable to action taken by the NMBA. For full information about the PII registration standard, go to the NMBA website.
What insurance products are available to self-employed midwives?
There is one insurance product for privately practising midwives (PPMs). In order to access this product, PPMs must have NMBA Endorsement for scheduled medicines for midwives (previously referred to as eligibility). Once PPMs are endorsed they may access the Midwifery Practice Insurance Scheme (MPIS).
The MPIS is a Commonwealth-subsidised scheme for endorsed midwives and is available from MIGA. The MPIS covers pregnancy and postnatal care in any setting, and labour and birth care in a hospital or birth unit.
Important Note: We are NOT AUTHORISED to advise you on your professional indemnity insurance needs or arrange any insurance for you, nor do we endorse any policy terms. We strongly recommend that you seek advice by contacting MIGA directly.
An exemption for intrapartum care provided at home
If you are an endorsed midwife who provides intrapartum care at home, you will not be insured by MIGA and thus fall under the Exemption legislation.
In recognition of the unavailability of a PII product for privately practising midwives (PPMs) providing intrapartum midwifery services for birth at home, Health Ministers agreed to an exemption from this insurance. The original exemption has been extended and is now due to expire in December 2021. You can access details of this extension from the COAG Communique from March 2018
The exemption is not a separate category of registration. Any PPM who meets the requirements set out in section 284 of the 2010 National Law is covered by the exemption.
Answers to your questions about insurance or the exemption may be found in our FAQ.