The devil is in the detail – Being aware of differences in cover when moving insurer


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No two insurance contracts are the same, so when considering market options at renewal, it is important to ensure you have received the right advice.  

We understand that in the current market, many care operators are looking at quotes from different insurers at renewal – this may be for a number of reasons, you may have lost your existing market over the past year or you are looking for a cheaper premium. There are some things that you need to be aware of when considering policies from other insurers.

Although on the surface it may look as if you are considering a policy which is like for like with your current arrangements, the detail may differ and this could expose your business and potentially mean a premium saving is not quite as economical as it seems. 

In the following article, we detail some of the common differences in cover that you should look out for when reviewing insurance contracts and policy details.

Be aware of common differences in cover

  1. Exclusions – Insurers apply exclusions to limit their exposure, these could be written into the wording or added by endorsement to a policy schedule. For example, you may now be familiar with insurers excluding claims relating to COVID-19 from the Public Liability and Medical Malpractice section of a policy.  Exclusions can apply to any section, limiting or excluding business activities, incident circumstances or in some cases entire sections of cover. 
  1. Basis of cover – In Social Care this can be a significant issue as some sections of cover, commonly Medical Malpractice, Professional Indemnity or Abuse, can be written on a ‘claims made’ or ‘claims occurring’ basis .  Moving between the two can create significant gaps in cover. Find out more here.
  1. Abuse; defined or silent? - Some Social Care policies define Abuse so it is clear what the insurers intention is in relation to providing indemnity in this complex area of cover. Other policies are deemed ‘silent’.  This effectively means although the insurer does not refer to Abuse specifically, the intention is to provide indemnity under the Public Liability section.  However, with cover under the Public Liability section excluding deliberate acts, how the policy would respond in the event of an abuse claim could be ambiguous.    
  1. Conditions, risk specific endorsements and subjectivities also need to be compared as their impact can potentially alter the cover significantly. You need to ensure you understand the potential impact or seek clarification if you are unsure. 

How to help ensure you are well informed and are protecting your business against potential gaps in cover when considering a move

Read the quotation pack.

Insurance brokers are obliged to clearly highlight policy terms and conditions.  If your incumbent broker is recommending a move from one insurer to the other, details of any significant differences in cover should be included in your documentation to help you understand how the differences could potentially affect your business.

Speak to the experts

Ensure your account handler guides you through the detail and be sure to ask questions if you are unclear on any points, before you decide to move insurer. 

Be particularly careful when considering using a new broker

When Howden advise new clients, we always ask for detail of the expiring policy.  This is so we can compare and help ensure the cover we are providing is adequate. A broker should always do this.

Here to help

Howden’s expert care team are committed to providing advice and guidance to clients to help them reach a favourable outcome, with policy terms that meet their business need.