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There is nothing like a juicy headline to stir up irritation and make you worry that you’re being fleeced.

Citizen’s Advice, Money Expert, the Associate of British Insurers, they’re all concerned – quite rightly, in my view – that people who buy insurance get a better price than ‘loyal customers’.

Those customers who have renewed their policy assuming that, as a ‘loyal customer’, they will get the best deal, have had their assumptions undermined by a so-called ‘loyalty penalty’, as insurers price their policies to attract new business, rather than rewarding existing clients.

The Telegraph has just announced proposals to ban the practice, with the Competition and Markets Authority being tasked with policing it.

But if you’ve got your locum insurance with Practice Cover, there’s no need to fear, because, once again, Practice Cover is ahead of the curve.

Back in 2013 we introduced a discount system which rewards existing clients when they reach their annual renewal.

The discount starts at their policy’s first renewal date, increases in year 2 and increases again in year 3 meaning that our clients can be sure they’re being rewarded for their loyalty.

Yet another reason for choosing Practice Cover.

The opinions presented in this blog are solely those of the author on behalf of Practice Cover Limited and they do not constitute individual advice. Practice Cover is a trading name of Practice Cover Limited and is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority

Is your renewal transparent?I've just had a nice surprise: a cheque that I wasn't expecting.  It came from an insurer and their letter explained that they were compensating me for their failure to follow FCA rules. I thought I'd share the rationale with you.  You never know, you could be eligible for a little windfall.  


In 2017 the Financial Conduct Authority decreed that when a general insurance company invites renewal of a policy - so that's house insurance, car insurance, locum insurance and so on - they must tell you clearly and explicitly what last year's premium was. 

The exception is ‘group policies’ but, if you, as a GP, dentist or similar health professional, have an individual locum insurance policy, this applies to you.

The thinking behind the FCA’s new rule is that people were just renewing their insurance without realising the cost was going up and without being prompted to shop around. It undermined the 'transparency' the FCA wanted insurers to demonstrate.

It seems that, when inviting me to renew my household insurance, my insurer had contravened the rules and hadn’t clearly stated the basis of my renewal premium. They sent me a cheque in compensation followed up by a further letter reiterating that they had made an error and reminding me that they had sent a cheque!

So, the message in my story is: take a look at your renewal invitation - for your house insurance, your car insurance and your locum insurance. If your insurer hasn’t told you prominently and explicitly what your premium was last year i.e. your insurer isn't being entirely 'transparent' you might want to point this out.

You never know, you might be eligible for a nice cheque in time for Christmas.

The opinions presented in this blog are solely those of the author on behalf of Practice Cover Limited and they do not constitute individual advice. Practice Cover is a trading name of Practice Cover Limited and is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority

 

Whatever you’re buying for your practice, whether it’s a phone system, vaccines or locum insurance, you’d be right to shop around.

derek trotter webNo-one likes to think they are paying over the odds – particularly for something like insurance which, with any luck, you’ll just put in a drawer and forget about.

So should you simply get the job done and buy the cheapest?

The answer to that is simple: only if you know for certain you will never need to claim.

This is what cheap locum insurance looks like:

  • It excludes ‘…any claim arising from … Planned/Non-fortuitous absences which are any known fact or medical condition which the proposed insured person can reasonably foresee leading to their absence in the proposed Period of Cover’. 
  • It restricts cover after renewal if an insured person has been off work for a week or more in the preceding year even if you didn’t make a claim.
  • The premium goes through the roof if you need to make a claim.

So, buy cheap – and keep your fingers crossed that no one falls ill.

Or buy a policy which doesn’t sell you short when you need it the most!

The choice is yours.

But if you need help or advice that is what we are here for.

The opinions presented in this blog are solely those of the author on behalf of Practice Cover Limited and they do not constitute individual advice. Practice Cover is a trading name of Practice Cover Limited and is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority

practice cover jury webA summons for jury service can create a frisson of excitement or a feeling of dread, depending on your view of the criminal justice system and the extent to which you want to be involved.

For your practice it can be tricky, both logistically and financially, to plan for it.

Courts allow those summoned to request a deferral in case, for example, they have a holiday planned or their work means that they can’t be spared. Until fairly recently GPs simply had to cite their indispensability and the Court would waive its summons.

This is no longer the case. I was talking to a GP today who had written back to the Court explaining he was a partner at a small practice and asking to be excused or to have the date deferred; he was told ‘no’ which meant the practice had just over a month to plan for his absence.

When a GP, whether a partner or a salaried doctor, has been summoned for jury service the practice manager has to look at:

  • pay for the ‘absent’ doctor
  • meeting the cost of a locum to provide cover for the ‘absent’ doctor.

Although employers have a duty and responsibility make an employee available to attend the Court, most partnership agreements and contracts of employment are silent about pay for the person who’s carrying out jury service.

The employer must provide the court with the earnings information and the Court will use this to determine the compensation they will pay to the individual.

Court compensation will not cover your absence

The problem arises in the case of ‘high earners’ where the Court’s compensation comes nowhere near the person’s earnings. This applies to the vast majority of GPs and also their key staff.

Would the practice want to continue paying the individual in full?

If so, how can they do this while also paying for a locum?

Most locum insurance policies can include jury service cover but it is crucial to check how the cover would work: policies differ in the scope and extent of cover.

  • Some policies don’t pay for the first few days of the doctor’s absence so, if the jury service lasts only for a few days, you get nothing.
  • Some policies cap the amount payable by the insurer so you can end up out of pocket.
  • Some policies limit the payment to 2 weeks, even if the jury services goes on for longer.

Practice Cover thinks differently, and ensures that the amount we pay takes all this into account and covers the individual adequately – and leaves the practice with no nasty surprises.

With GPs being less likely, nowadays, to avoid the summons, practices need to look carefully at their insurance to make sure it will perform as they need it to.

For further information or a quotation call Lynda at Practice Cover on 023 8051 3286 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The opinions presented in this blog are solely those of the author on behalf of Practice Cover Limited and they do not constitute individual advice. Practice Cover is a trading name of Practice Cover Limited and is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority

When you have spent years building up a successful practice, you need an assurance that it won’t crumble if you’re off sick.

Our Absence Insurance pays a weekly sum for up to 52 weeks to meet the fixed costs that will continue pouring in regardless.

We don’t need to see your accounts and you don’t need to ‘justify’ the amount you choose to insure for. It’s simple to set up and, if your practice depends on more than one person, you can include the other people in your insurance too.

With our flexible policy, you can also choose to cover yourself against other absences such as being summoned for jury service, needing compassionate leave or even being suspended from practising.

For further details on protecting your practice against absence, download our brochure here – or call us on 023 8051 3286.

The opinions presented in this blog are solely those of the author on behalf of Practice Cover Limited and they do not constitute individual advice. Practice Cover is a trading name of Practice Cover Limited and is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority

We're incredibly proud of our achievements over the years, not least because we have received such great testimonials and continue to grow, even in the face of confusing NHS reimbursement changes. Here's why we think you should look at Practice Cover for your locum insurance.

SO3709 Practice Cover Why choose infographic v3

The opinions presented in this blog are solely those of the author on behalf of Practice Cover Limited and they do not constitute individual advice. Practice Cover is a trading name of Practice Cover Limited and is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority

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