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How important should these be when you’re choosing your locum insurance?

How can you tell if the company you’re proposing to use is a good bet?

Loss ratios

In simple terms, this is ‘money in vs money out’: how much does the underwriter receive in premiums (and pay in operating expenses) compared with what has been paid out in claims. It’s one measure – a very important one – of the profitability of the business. It should be reviewed dynamically to keep tabs on what constitutes good business. ‘Good business’ doesn’t mean policies never paying out claims; it means charging the right premium rates so that all genuine claims are paid swiftly and with no quibbling.

An individual client could be forgiven for thinking ‘as long as my claim is paid I don’t give a hoot’.

Well that’s the rub.

How important should these be when you’re choosing your locum insurance?

How can you tell if the company you’re proposing to use is a good bet?

Premiums

How often – in the past few years – have the company’s premium rates changed?

Some companies charge according to the age of the client and some don’t. Due to EU rules, companies are not allowed to charge according to sex. Some will also adjust premiums when a policy has been underwritten.

This is all very interesting (or not, depending on your pov) but it’s not the nub of the issue. The question should be ‘over the past few years when did you change your premium rates and by how much did they rise/fall?’

A report by the Medical Protection Society (MPS) recently shed some dark light on mental health issued suffered by medical professionals.

MPS surveyed 600 doctors in the UK and reported that an incredible 85% of doctors reported experiencing mental health issues at some point in their career. Of the 600, 32% had experienced depression and 13% suicidal thoughts.

Mental health, of course, is not as visible as broken legs and diagnoses of cancer or pneumonia. So, where do GPs and staff covered by a Practice Cover locum insurance policy stand?

We love to scour the social-mediasphere for titbits and came across this tweet from @Pickletray – a Twitterer with lots to say about GP issues.

Will your locum insurance cover your weekends? Thought not. Another reason why GP partners will soon be extinct. #gpnewdeal #GPNoDeal

What Pickletray is probably getting at is the GPs who will be offered a ‘new deal’ for adopting 7–day working. Will their locum insurance cover them for weekend working?

Have you a dentist client who’s thinking of buying a practice – perhaps to get into business for themselves, or to expand? As an IFA you will often be their first port of call.

Like us, you may have seen a new trend emerging from lenders asking for income insurance to protect themselves when a loan/mortgage is set up. This can seem like another layer of long-winded red tape for your clients – but it doesn’t have to be.

What if we said we could have locum insurance set up in as little as 2 hours?

I’m starting this blog with a bit of history. In the 19th century there was a practice in American bars of offering a "free lunch" in order to entice drinking customers.

The customer would need to buy just one drink to get a free lunch. It was a tempting offer, but the lunch that was provided tended to be cheap and included high-salt foods, and the customer would go on to spend more money on beer.

The concept went on to become an economic buzz phrase for ‘opportunity cost’ – what you could have bought if you hadn’t spent your money on something else. Economist Milton Friedman even titled a book “There’s no such thing as a free lunch”.

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Docs are nicely packaged and clear as to what is covered.

IFA, Cheltenham

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