The insurance included for members provides a range of cover including medical malpractice, professional indemnity, and vicarious liability

Optoms at practice

Our insurance protects you in case of claims arising from allegations of negligence and fulfils the requirements of the Opticians Act 1989 for optometrists and dispensing opticians to have insurance to practise in the UK.

Medical malpractice insurance

AOP membership provides you with medical malpractice insurance, which all qualified practitioners are required to have as a condition of General Optical Council (GOC) registration. Under the insurance policy, as a member you’re indemnified against claims for clinical negligence brought against you up to a maximum of £10m for each claim and £15m in total per member in each calendar year. This relates to sums that may become liable to be paid for compensation as a result of claims arising from allegations of negligence by, or on behalf of, a patient in your practise as an optometrist or dispensing optician. Additionally, the policy includes professional indemnity cover against claims for compensation in relation to allegations that you have acted negligently in your capacity as an examiner, adjudicator, researcher, lecturer, teacher, optometric adviser or expert witness.

Indemnity cover

The indemnity cover includes legal costs and expenses incurred in the defence, handling and settlement of any claims as described above. Members are covered on a claims-made basis, which means that while you are an AOP member, the insurance will cover you even for events that took place before you became a member, provided your first knowledge of the claim is after you join. However, if you intend to end your membership, you’ll no longer be covered by the AOP’s insurance for work you undertake in the future. We can offer advice to ensure you have the adequate insurance cover needed to practise.
Members who are Independent Prescribers (IP), are automatically covered through our membership. The level of cover provided is stated as above. It’s your duty as an IP to practise within your own skill and competence.

Retrospective and run-off cover

Retrospective cover is in place the moment you join and run-off cover for the period you are a member is automatic as part of the policy at no additional fee.

Vicarious liability

We can handle claims against a business for its members while they’re employed or engaged by the business, as well as for the acts of any unqualified staff under their supervision. To be eligible for vicarious liability cover, you need to check the qualifications and credentials of each qualified employee or locum. Ensure that all optometrists are members and therefore insured with us to work in your practice. You also need to ensure your employees maintain adequate insurance when they leave the practice, which should be specified in their contract of employment or contract for services. Find out more about vicarious liability insurance.

Product liability

The product liability insurance covers the product liability of any business owned by an AOP member (ie the sole proprietor, partner or shareholder for products sold worldwide. The cover is up to £2m for any one event and a maximum of two events in any one year. It doesn’t apply to claims falling within the jurisdiction of the courts of USA or Canada.

Libel and slander

The policy indemnifies you for claims made against you for libel and slander committed in good faith whilst carrying out your job or business.

Breach of professional confidentiality

The policy indemnifies you for claims made against you that arise from any breach of professional confidentiality whilst carrying out your job or business. 

Loss of documents

The policy indemnifies you for liable sums and for costs incurred in replacing or restoring documents which are your property or have been entrusted to you, that have been destroyed, irrecoverably damaged, or lost. 

This includes deeds, wills, maps, plans, non-medical records, books, letters, certificates, forms and documents of any nature whether written, printed or reproduced by any other method. For clarity, this does not include bearer bonds, coupons, tickets, bank notes, currency notes, negotiable instruments, medical records or any digital or computer records.


You’re responsible for paying an excess of £500 for each and every claim but it will only be levied if members have been offered advice by us in relation to a complaint, disregarded the advice and the complaint has progressed to a claim. Membership indicates acceptance of the excess.

Lay practice owners

Medical malpractice insurance is available to lay practice owners in relation to claims against the practice in the UK, Channel Islands or Republic of Ireland. Cover can be provided on the condition that all of the optometrists in your practice have membership with us. Please see our membership terms and conditions for more information.

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