Run Off-Cover Scheme (ROCS) - frequently asked questions

This page answers questions on the operation of ROCS from the viewpoint of doctors.

Page last updated: 19 January 2017

Before taking action based on the information provided on this page, you need to consider your own situation and the relevant laws. You should seek advice that takes account of your particular set of circumstances. Check with your medical indemnity insurer if they have additional requirements which may not be covered here.

The Department of Health makes reasonable efforts to ensure that the information provided on this page is accurate. However, before relying on any information on this page, you should always check that the information is accurate, current and complete. The Department does not guarantee the accuracy, currency or completeness of the information on this page. The Department accepts no legal liability for the information on this page.

Run-Off Cover Indemnity Scheme (ROCS)

What is the Run-Off Cover Scheme?
Why is there a need for ROCS?
What is my "last cover"?
How does the ROCS work?
When did the ROCS come into operation?
What does ROCS cover?

What is the ROCS?

The ROCS is a scheme designed to provide secure insurance for doctors who have left private practice.

Why is there a need for ROCS?

The Government’s original package of medical indemnity legislation in 2002 addressed the affordability of medical indemnity for doctors and the industry’s long-term viability, in a period of upheaval.

However, those who had left the medical workforce - including retirees, and those on maternity leave - often faced significant ongoing costs for "run-off cover" for incidents which had occurred during their careers but had not yet been notified to insurers.

ROCS ensures that eligible doctors get medical indemnity cover that is secure and free and based on their last cover.

What is my "last cover"?

"Last cover" refers to the cover you had prior to a period in ROCS. It will usually correspond to a medical indemnity contract of insurance which was in place immediately prior to leaving private practice. In some cases however it may include:
  • Two or more policies from different medical indemnity insurers;
  • A combination of a contract of insurance plus discretionary claims-incurred cover from a Medical Defence Organisation;
  • Previous ROCS cover plus additional run-off cover taken out to cover gaps in your last contract

How does the ROCS work?

Medical indemnity insurers are required to grant indemnity to doctors who are eligible for the ROCS, based on their last contract of insurance.
Insurers issue notices of indemnity to eligible doctors and manage any claims that emerge under those contracts.

The Government will pay the costs of valid claims (including costs of managing claims) made against doctors who are eligible for the ROCS.

The ongoing cost of ROCS will be met over time by a ROCS support payment paid by insurers.

When did the ROCS come into operation?

The ROCS covers claims where the claim was first notified on or after 1 July 2004 (when the scheme came into operation).

What does ROCS cover?

The ROCS covers medical indemnity claims by or against "eligible doctors" for incidents that occurred in the course of their medical practice.

The ROCS cover that medical indemnity insurers are obliged to give to eligible doctors is provided on the same terms and conditions, and for the same range of incidents, as the last cover that the doctor had, prior to becoming eligible for ROCS.

Additional FAQ's for ROCS

Coverage - doctors
Claims-made and claims-incurred cover
Maternity leave and disability
Temporary resident doctors
Leaving ROCS
Coverage - incidents