Does Pharmacy Insurance Cover Locums?

Caeva O'Callaghan | January 9th, 2024

A pharmacist’s worst nightmare is a locum dispensing the wrong medicine: but are they covered by your insurance?

Yes – your locums are covered by your pharmacy insurance.

Your pharmacy insurance policy will insure all employees during their time at your pharmacy, no matter if they’re temporary or permanent.

In this article, we’ll cover the following questions:

  • How are locums covered by pharmacy insurance?
  • Does pharmacy insurance cover legal expenses for locums?
  • Will professional indemnity cover apply to locums?

Whenever you have a locum working at your pharmacy, it is essential to know how your insurance is affected. If you don’t, you risk being under insured.

How are locums covered by pharmacy insurance?

Temporary staff – including locums – are covered just like regular employees under both your professional indemnity policy and your retail policy.

Professional indemnity covers you for losses suffered by customers as a consequence of a pharmacist’s professional neglect, error or omission.

If you accidently dispense the wrong medication or the wrong dose and a customer takes an action against you, your professional indemnity policy will fund the defense of the case as well as any compensation awarded to your customer.

Note that it only covers you in the event of a professional pharmacist’s mistake – this includes locums. If another one of your employees, such as a sales assistant, gives out the wrong medicine or bad advice your insurance will not cover you.

In the event of an employers’ liability claim, your insurance will cover this for locums also.

Does pharmacy insurance cover legal expenses for locums?

Yes. All legal expenses are covered as part of the professional indemnity section of your policy, as long as the person whom the claim is against is a qualified pharmacist or locum.

Any registered pharmacist who is providing advice owes a duty of reasonable skill and care to their customers. If a pharmacist falls below this standard and causes a loss, they may be viewed as being negligent, which means they may be held liable for any subsequent losses incurred.

But if another member of staff at your pharmacy dispenses medicine or gives advice, the outcome will not be good. They do not have the same legal protections as you. Therefore, to protect your business, it’s up to you to make sure medicine is only given out by fully qualified professionals and that no one but your locum or pharmacists give medical advice to anyone who visits your premises.

How you manage your employees is up to you, but the best cure is always prevention. Make sure you stay up to date on current legislation regarding medicines, and ensure staff are properly trained on what they are and aren’t allowed to give out to customers.

If someone makes a claim against your pharmacy accusing you or your locum of misconduct, you could lose your business and face serious legal repercussions.

Will my professional indemnity cover apply to locums?

Yes, but your locum can also purchase additional cover to make sure any gaps in your policy are filled.

This is known as a professional indemnity policy specifically for locum pharmacists. This type of policy is bought by the locum pharmacist in question, and it covers them working for any pharmacy throughout Ireland. The annual cost of this is approx. €525.

However, this policy is unnecessary for locums working in pharmacies which have arranged insurance with OCI Insurance. This is because they’ll automatically have cover under the pharmacy they’re working at.

Professional indemnity insurance is a General Pharmacy Council requirement, so if you wish to be part of this membership body then you must purchase a policy which includes this cover.

If you’re not sure what you’re looking for, give us a call and we can dispense pharmacy insurance advice that will get you covered in no time.





All Information in this post is accurate as of the date of publishing.