The pandemic has shone a light on how hard care providers work and how pivotal their role is in our society. Their work looking after elderly, sick and vulnerable people has put them on the frontline against Covid-19.
Many care providers, however, are now facing a new challenge with insurance as insurance companies withdraw from the market making it harder to access cover.
Why has care provider insurance become an issue?
The unprecedented coronavirus pandemic has so far generated £100bn of claims and this will only increase. It is the biggest loss faced by the insurance industry since the Twin Towers in New York in Sept 2001.
A fifth of care homes are looking after patients with Covid-19. This means there are risks of infection to carers. There is of course the other risk that an infected carer unknowingly brings the virus into the home.
In response, insurers have implemented strict criteria for care providers. Some Insurers, for instance, are asking more searching questions about infection control procedures and policies, PPE equipment and where it has been sourced from. Care providers need to be sure of their policy conditions as their cover may not operate if they don’t comply with the terms of the policy.
The struggle for insurance cover has created a new obstacle for care providers who are already feeling the pressure. In light of this, here are the insurance considerations that care providers should take into account.
1. Where possible stay with your current Insurer
Whilst normally it is a good idea to get competitive quotes from time to time, and your broker should do this for you, this may not be the time to be too ambitious with your renewal. At the time of writing this blog, Insurers are inviting most renewals. “A bird in the hand…..”. The current message should be clear – now is NOT the right time to look for a new Insurer.
If your broker is not giving you advice you trust or a good service, it is easy to keep your current policy but give a letter of authorisation to another broker. This has never been the easiest sector for Insurers, so it is best to work with a specialist broker that stays close to market changes.
2. Start your renewal search early
Some care providers are finding that their Insurer is not inviting renewal of their policy. If this is as a result of the Insurer withdrawing from the market it does not have to be disclosed as a ‘renewal refused’. If, however, renewal is refused for some other reason it does need to be disclosed. Given the complexity of the situation, it is important to start discussions with your insurer as early as possible. Having sufficient time to discuss your policy will help ensure that you have the risk assessment and mitigation measures in place which will not only help you get cover but will also keep premiums down.
3. Stay up to date with changes to your policy
Keeping on top of communications from your insurance broker is essential. By staying up to date with developments you will be in a better position to discuss issues that may arise, and if need be, make changes to fulfil the requirements of your policy.
If you would like further information about care provider insurance and what to expect, please contact Cascade Insurance on 01233 512548. Cascade are a specialist broker in the care sector and the principal has a background in the medical profession.