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Here to help: Indemnity insurance

Lynda Rigby, IBMS Executive Head of Marketing and Membership, with an insurance update.

Since 1991, the IBMS has offered insurance to all members as a part of their membership – always looking to improve our level of coverage where possible. Flash forward to 2020. When the pandemic hit, the insurance market shifted along with countless other industries. This forced group policies to be subject to more stringent Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) rules and the current insurance market found this to be particularly challenging to navigate.

As we looked to renew the policy this year, we were given minimal notice from our provider Hiscox that our policy would not be renewed when it expired at the end of March 2021. Their stance was dictated by the changes in their underwriting appetite and FCA attitude on group policies. However, at a significantly increased cost, we were able to get them to extend our policy whilst alternative arrangements were explored.

After months of extensions, meetings with insurance brokers and negotiations we found that other insurers were also unwilling to offer us a group policy. This has led to us having to make the difficult decision that it would no longer be possible for us to provide indemnity cover for members in the way that we have. 

After all the challenges of the past year and a half, the last thing we wanted was to have to end this service for our members. Going forward, we want to be able to offer as much guidance and assistance navigating indemnity coverage requirements to those who are affected.

We’ve reached out to the HCPC to help us dispel any confusion around professional indemnity insurance as a requirement of registration. They state that:

  • If you are employed, either by the NHS or privately, then you will have some type of indemnity coverage through your employer. You are advised to ask them about this.
  • If you are self-employed, then you will now likely need to find coverage directly through an insurer.
  • If you are HCPC registered but no longer practicing, then you do not need to have indemnity cover.

For those who undertake self-employment, the IBMS will provide members with access to a discounted scheme for them to purchase as individuals through IBMS Additions (managed by Parliament Hill). Our insurance brokers advised that the premiums will be much cheaper in this offer than could be obtained independently.

As part of HCPC’s indemnity requirement, they stipulate that a registrant will “need to provide cover appropriate to your practice”. The HCPC defines “appropriate cover” as depending upon a combination of factors, including, the practice area or areas you work, the service users you work with, and the risks involved with your practice. As an individual practitioner, the HCPC relies on your own definition of what level is appropriate for you in your work, and most importantly “this level of cover will need to be sufficient to meet any liability that may be incurred if a successful claim is made against you”.

I want members to know that we are here to help if you have any queries. Although we will not be able to provide coverage as we have in the past, we will have competitive indemnity options in place for members through the IBMS Additions scheme. Our utmost priority remains to support our membership through this transition. 


Image credit |iStock

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