GP Provider companies – the challenges of Employers and Public Liability insurance
There are many challenges faced by new GP Provider companies before they can start taking on contracts. Arguably one of the most frustrating is the arrangement of Employers and Public Liability insurance. A compulsory requirement of most contracts, these insurances can be difficult to source on a standalone basis, as many insurers are not willing to write them in isolation and when they do, the premiums can often be high. The cost of obtaining this cover in terms of both time and money can therefore be expensive, especially when you consider that many Provider companies only employ small numbers of staff, who perform low risk administrative duties.
So what is the solution?
In terms of purchasing a standalone Employers and/or Public Liability policy, there isn’t one. The market is small and the premiums typically being charged are high compared to the relative size and purpose of the business. However, it may be possible to obtain them more cost effectively by taking a ‘package’ insurance product, such as Contents cover, under which Employers and Public Liability are usually a standard inclusion (or at the very least, a readily available optional extra). Even if you were not planning on taking Contents cover, if it is done correctly this can be a far more palatable way of getting the cover that you do want.
For a Provider company that is not working from its own premises and has few, if any, items of business equipment to insure, there are still challenges to this approach. For example, some insurers will be put off by the fact that you are using rooms within a premises occupied by another business, even if said business has common shareholders/partners or a mutual financial or professional interest. Others will be unhappy that the Contents insurance, which will be for a minimal level of cover, is only being purchased as a method of obtaining the Liability insurances at a more affordable price. However, with the assistance of a friendly underwriter who is willing to take the time to understand your particular circumstances and apply a bit of lateral thinking, sometimes these hurdles can be overcome and a more advantageous policy agreed.
There are still the potential complications that come as part of any application for Contents insurance, such as where the property is in a flood risk area (remember, the focus of the policy is being taken away from the Liability risk and moved to material damage). But even if an insurer was to exclude cover for a risk such as this, may not be a concern if the reason for taking the policy is to secure Employers and Public Liability cover, which are unlikely to be affected.
The added advantage of insuring in this way is that as the business grows, so too can the insurance policy. The address can be changed if the company moves to its own premises and the Contents sums insured increased to reflect new acquisitions.
Subject of the contract – its effect on Liability cover
From running clinics in the local community, to operating triage services or providing healthcare to prison inmates, the range of services being put out to contract is diverse and the risk presented to an insurer under Employers and Public Liability insurance can vary greatly. With this in mind it is essential that, regardless of how you purchase your cover, you make the insurer aware of the role the company and its staff will be performing under any contract you are bidding for/have already won, as well as any that you look to take on in the future. Failure to do so could potentially be considered as ‘non-disclosure’ and your policy could be declared null and void as a result.
National Business Development Manager
Medical Money Management (GIB) Ltd
For more information on this topic or to discuss your own requirements, you can contact Miles on 01275 841365 or email@example.com