Insurance for General & Private Practice
Our experts are here to take the hassle out of buying insurance
Howden provide unique insurance cover to general practice and private practice surgeries across the UK. Our policies are specifically designed around the unique requirements of GP practices. We get to know you, your surgery and the risks you face. We then use our expertise to mitigate your risks by finding precisely the right policy for your surgery. Our cover is flexible and adaptable, and we will always put your needs first to help you get the protection you need, without paying for cover that you don’t.
Features of our bespoke surgery insurance:
- Building (optional) and contents cover
- All-risks cover
- Walk-in theft cover
- Flood and subsidence cover
- Business interruption cover
- Book debts cover
- Refrigerated drugs cover
- Business emergency cover
- Medical bags cover (on and off site)
- Medical equipment cover (on and off site)
- Fidelity guarantee (employee dishonesty)
- Employers liability cover £10m
- Public liability cover £5m
- Optional computer cover
- Optional terrorism cover
Staff Absence / Locum Insurance
Protect your practice against the spiralling cost of Sickness Absence.
More than half of UK GP’s currently report a rising dependence on locum doctors, with around 20% saying locums now fill at least a quarter of shifts at the practices where they work (GP Magazine, October 2019).
We specialise in arranging Locum insurance for GP practices and can offer you honest, transparent advice on the risks you face.
Our award winning Locum insurance cover offers you peace of mind and protection for your practice, including:
- Full stress/anxiety/depression cover
- No exclusions for winter sports or hazardous pursuits
- Excess period options of between 1 and 26 weeks
- Option to guarantee terms of cover and premiums for up to 3 years (subject to additional charge)
- Phased return to work covered
- Pregnancy related illness covered
- Worldwide cover, 24 hours a day
- Benefit based cover – pays your claims without having to prove you have incurred costs
Top-up Locum Insurance
Changes to the GP Contract in 2017 now entitle practices to a Sickness Reimbursement payment for GPs. While the news of this change was certainly well received, the NHSE Reimbursement is not ‘full-service’ and could leave your practice seriously out of pocket if you chose to rely on this exclusively.
If you are not sure if you need Top-Up Locum Insurance, our experienced, friendly team are happy to offer you advice on the main points for consideration of the NHSE Reimbursement scheme.
Our Top-Up Locum Insurance covers where the NHS Sickness Reimbursement scheme does not, with benefits including:
- Cover for any expenditure incurred due to Sickness Absence, which can include GPs and/or any Employed Staff, such as Managers, ANPs, Nurses, HCAs, Clerical & Administration Staff
- Accidental Death Capital Payments of £50,000 per person
- Expenditure due to Compassionate Leave
- Expenditure due to Jury Service absence
- Expenditure due to Suspension from Duty
- Expenditure due to Delayed Return from Abroad
- Full Stress/Anxiety/Depression cover
- Option for cover that pays without the practice having to produce evidence of Locum costs incurred
- Option to fix premium rates and underwriting terms for up to 36 months (subject to additional premium charge)
It is prudent to consider:
The practice must produce evidence of costs incurred (locum cover, or part-time internal cover) in order to qualify for the Sickness Reimbursement payment. Any sessions you cannot fill with a locum or another partner/salaried GP you will receive no reimbursement for.
The maximum amount you can claim is:
- Weeks 2-26 of absence – Costs of up to a maximum of £1,751.52 per week.
- Weeks 26-52 of absence – Maximum of 50% of the amount claimed during the first 26 weeks, capped at £875.67 per week.
Remember to consider that locum costs can be in excess of £350 per session, or £3,500 per week for a full-time GP. Also if the practice can no longer cover ‘in house’ for a sick GP and has to bring in expensive locums, you can only claim at half the rate you claimed at previously for weeks 26 to 52.
Cover can only be provided by doctors already at your practice if they are not already working full-time and they were already working at the practice when the GP went off sick.
Reimbursement covers core hours only. A 2 week ‘waiting period’ applies to each period of sickness leave before you can claim Reimbursement. If a doctor returns to work and goes off again, you have to wait 2 weeks each time before you can claim reimbursement.
Aggregation means the above periods (weeks 2-26 and weeks 27-52) are reduced if the practice has claimed for the doctor in the preceding 52 weeks. This means the viability of the Reimbursement as a solution to recurring medical issues is questionable.
We can combine some elements of these into a package, with a single renewal date to reduce your administrative burden and create a single contact point for all of your insurances
GP Federations Insurance
Primary care providers across the UK are recognising the need to work together to address the challenges facing GP practices, in particular to develop scalable organisations that can respond to the challenge of delivering primary care at scale to an increasingly larger and more diverse population.
GP federations are becoming more prominent each year, with the role federations play in delivering services in a cost-efficient manner ever more prominent.
It is important to closely consider the exposures a Federation or Provider Company faces, as relying solely on individual clinician’s indemnity arrangements has the potential to be a vast oversight that could cost the provider company dearly.
Medical Malpractice exposure remains the most prominent area that Provider Companies and Federations overlook.
Under many arrangements care of patients is shared between several clinicians and where a clinician’s Medical Defence Union will not indemnify, the company itself could be held vicariously liable.
The traditional indemnity model where each GP holds their own indemnity coverage and the proverbial ‘buck’ stopping with them is becoming outdated and many organisations are opting for group coverage that picks up any potential gaps in coverage.
Entity coverage arrangements remove the uncertainty associated with ‘discretionary indemnity’ and replaces it with insurance-backed, FCA regulated protection. The cost savings available to members of the Federation or Provider Company are considerable when compared to the alternative of many stand-alone individual policyholders.
All of the products we offer to practices are available at discounted rates to GP federations. We work with a host of federations across the UK where we have delivered real cost savings for the federated group of practices.
Medical Indemnity Insurance
Our experienced team work with GP's to protect you and your livelihood. All of our Medical Indemnity insurance policies are designed around you and your needs, to help protect your professional reputation against legal challenges and complaints.
Unlike Medical Defence Organisations, Howden policies are not discretionary. Your Howden insurance policy will be contract certain and insurance backed.
We can arrange Medical Indemnity Insurance that provides the additional cover and support that doctors like you need to practice confidently, which includes:
- Specialist 24 hour Medico Legal support covering clinical assistance and support and assistance with complaints and claim notifications
- Professional Indemnity cover for Category 1 Medico legal reports written by you and any expert witness work
- Defamation cover for liability arising out of any medico legal report written by you
- Public relations work to protect your professional reputation
- Court attendance costs
- Cyber Liability cover for Cyber events, security breaches, identity theft, breach of data, computer damage and any financial loss incurred as a result.
- Run-off cover, providing a 25 year reporting period for claims in the event of your permanent retirement, permanent disablement or death
- Cover extension for Private work (additional premium may apply)
Frequently asked questions
No - your Howden insurance policy is a legal contract, and its terms are therefore enforceable under law. Mutual Defence Organisation’s (MDO’s) on the other hand, offer discretionary cover which, as the name implies, means that the acceptance of any claim made by a member is subject to their discretion. MDO’s are under no legal obligation to provide assistance to a member.
Yes – as malpractice claims can be brought years after the fact, we provide run off cover as standard. This means that cover is provided after you have stopped practicing.
Yes – our policies include Good Samaritan Acts that occur outside the scope of your regular work, such as giving first aid to a member of the public.
Yes – we provide cover for your legal defence costs that arise from; GMC complaints or disciplinary hearings, inquests, criminal proceedings including sexual misconduct and PACE interviews, employment disputes, tax investigations, contractual disputes, health & safety at work and property disputes and regulatory investigations stemming from security breaches.