About the Exceptional Claims Scheme (ECS)

The ECS protects doctors against personal liability for claims against them that exceed their indemnity cover. It also provides legacy cover for claims against allied health professionals if the claim incident occurred before 1 July 2020.

What is the ECS

The ECS helps doctors and allied health professionals with the cost of claims that exceed their indemnity cover. It protects them against personal liability.

The ECS is one of the Australian Government’s medical and midwife indemnity insurance schemes.

If the claim does not exceed the indemnity cover, insurers may be able to access help through the High Cost Claims Scheme.

Why is it important

The ECS:

  • removes the risk of practitioners being personally liable for malpractice claims against them
  • helps them to focus on providing high quality health care.

Who is it for

The ECS provides cover for:

  • doctors
  • allied health professionals if the claim incident occurred before 1 July 2020.

Find out about the full eligibility criteria.

Allied health legacy cover

The ECS covered both doctors and allied health professionals until 1 July 2020, when the government launched the Allied Health Exceptional Claims Scheme.

The ECS continues to cover allied health professionals for incidents that occurred before that date.

What it covers

The ECS covers the cost of claims against eligible practitioners once it exceeds their indemnity cover limit. Find out more about coverage under the ECS.

How it works

If an eligible practitioner has a claim made against them:

  • they, their representative, or their indemnity insurer can apply for an ECS payment
  • Services Australia (the agency that administers the ECS):
    • confirms it is for an eligible claim
    • makes an ECS payment to the applicant.

The insurer and the ECS payment covers the cost of the eligible claim. The practitioner will also need to pay an excess amount if they agreed to one in their insurance contract.

Find out more about who pays for the claim and how it is paid.


The government set up the ECS under the Medical Indemnity Act 2002. Find out about the legislation that supports indemnity schemes.


Medical and professional indemnity insurance contact

Contact us for general enquiries about the medical indemnity insurance schemes for privately practising doctors, allied health professionals and midwives. You can also contact us if you have general enquiries about medical and professional indemnity insurance policy.

Services Australia medical indemnity team

Contact this team for queries about applications and payments under the medical and midwife professional indemnity insurance schemes.
Date last updated:

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