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Contact Details

Phone: 01684 580776

E-mail: commercial@balens.co.uk

Balens have had long experience in advising and insuring Clinics and multi-therapist environments from a small home-based clinic to multi premises/multi therapist environments.  Requirements can be complex so it is best to contact us for guidance and advice, especially regarding the Malpractice cover.  The main issue to resolve is whether you are a "corporate" risk requiring extra malpractice cover, even though you may be using self employed Health Professionals in your clinic.

When a Health Professional or other business person forms a Limited Company or other Corporate Entity, it is usually the Tax or Legal Implications which exercise the mind. If your Practice consists of just you or is augmented by a receptionist, other clerical person or/wife/partner, this is normally covered by your existing malpractice scheme cover. You need to change the name on your policy to reflect the Ltd Company or other change, and of course show your corporate new name, registered office and company registration number on all notepaper, invoices etc. You will need Employers Liability for any Employees as required by Law, but our Supplementary policy for contents etc will include this for upwards of £66 per year.

It is apparent however that more and more Health Professionals are setting up multi-person, multi therapy practices, with a core person or persons organising and running the clinic or centre. A range of Corporate activities are undertaken such as: advertising all of the therapists, hiring out rooms, checking they have valid insurance, and that therapists are properly qualified. Many are also involved in booking appointments or giving health advice, referring possible clients to other Associates and Therapists, or even taking money on behalf of other practitioners, and thus possibly unwittingly acting as their agent. If this is the case, a Clinic policy is most definitely required.

If you are merely providing a space for therapists to rent a room and have no day-to-day involvement with bookings, advertising or handling of money on their behalf, you simply require a 'Contingent' cover. This provides the Clinic or Business with protection should a claim 'fall-back' from the therapist and their own insurance (or lack of it). This would also cover the Business for any direct claims and is normally much cheaper. This is always subject to the therapists having their own insurance in place and is important for you to check this.

We have also seen that Therapists have been employing other practitioners, or sub contracting work for which they retain overall responsibility as proprietor of the Clinic or Centre. Even though your receptionist and staff are covered for their actions under your policy as an individual, they are not covered if the patient of another associate or therapist complains about their behaviour or communication style.

As a principal with a clinic complaints procedure, you may get involved in a case that on the surface does not seem to implicate or involve you in any way, but as the case progresses, you may be named as a 3rd party in an action. There are too many grey areas for a sensible  clinic proprietor to ignore the potential losses which they could incur through no fault of their own. You could also face a  complaint for failing to monitor or supervise your staff or even consultants or keep proper data protection or have a complaints procedure.

We have an article which includes a decision table to assist you in deciding whether you need this type of cover available upon request.

Different Types of Cover

  1. Can consider Commercial Legal Expenses Cover, particularly if you employ people.
  2. Financial Advice and /or Business funding may be required.
  3. Employee Benefits packages including Stakeholder Pensions where there are more than 5 employees should be considered

Contents and Buildings related packages

Most clinic/surgeries need a contents package and in some cases need extra Malpractice to cover the corporate risk as explained above.  We have a variety of packages available for all types of Health Professionals Businesses, but the most popular of these is our "Bridge" Policy which has been in existence for over 21 years.  The premiums have changed very little over the years, and the minimum premiums are very low compared to the standard marketplace.  Details of these are available under the 'Business Protection' section of our website.

Directors and Officers (D & O)

Where a Charity or a Business have Directors/Trustees, they can be held legally liable personally for their actions by law. These policies will defend them against an allegation

  1. Typical allegations would be failure to adequately look after the finances (breach of fiduciary duty) taking negligent decisions which adversely affect the organisation.
  2. Allegations of fraud or misconduct.

Commercial Legal Expenses

The Law is complex and ever changing, so these policies are more and more sought after by Businesses.  We include this as standard on many of our packages.

 Main areas of protection include:

  1. Discrimination
  2. Health and Safety 
  3. Inland Revenue Investigations, VAT issues
  4. Contract Disputes
  5. Employment tribunals and advice lines
  6. These also cover help and advice lines on legal or tax issues

Employment Practices Liability - EPL

This replaces the need for Employment tribunal cover such as you would get in a commercial Legal Expenses Policy.

  1. EPL covers Employment Practices, so if there is a dispute or industrial tribunal the Insurer will pay for the legal help and awards.
  2. Commercial Legal Policies also do this but require Client to follow strict ACAS guidelines and procedures, and this is not always possible for a client.

 Financial Advice

  1. Help with Key Person Protection
  2. Income Protection
  3. Locum and Business Expenses cover
  4. Investing for the future
  5. Pensions
  6. Employment Benefit Schemes