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 isssue
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 £60 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
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
Different Types of Cover
- Can consider Commercial Legal Expenses Cover, particularly if
you employ people.
- Financial Advice and /or Business funding may be required.
- 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
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
- Typical allegations would be failure to adequately look
after the finances (breach of fiduciary duty) taking negligent
decisions which adversely affect the organisation.
- 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:
- Health and Safety
- Inland Revenue Investigations, VAT issues
- Contract Disputes
- Employment tribunals and Advicelines
- These also cover help and advice lines on legal or tax
Employment Practices Liability - EPL
This replaces the need for Employment tribunal cover
such as you would get in a commercial Legal Expenses Policy.
- EPL covers Employment Practices, so if there is a dispute
or industrial tribunal the Insurer will pay for the legal
help and awards.
- 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.
- Help with Key Person Protection
- Income Protection
- Locum and Business Expenses cover
- Investing for the future
- Employment Benefit Schemes