A simple guide to care home insurance

We explain the features, exclusions and optional covers that are usually found in this type of business insurance to help care homes to understand the specialist cover they need. From public liability and contents insurance to the more specific care industry covers like medical malpractice insurance - find out what you need to make sure your care home insurance is right for you.

Specialist policies for care home service providers, hospices, care villages and many other care providers are available too.  Visit www.towergateinsurance.co.uk/care-and-medical-insurance  

Here is a list of some of the care organisations that could benefit from a specific care home insurance policy.

• Elderly residential • Elderly with Nursing • Dementia • Retirement Villages • Adults • Adults with Learning Difficulty • Adults Physical Disability • Adults Mental Health • Adults Supported Living

Simply put, standard business insurance doesn’t include vital protection against the specific risks of the care industry which could leave your service users, staff and business vulnerable. While some insurance providers could patch together various policies to cover your liability, buildings, contents etc, this will likely leave holes in your cover for things like:

• Medical malpractice insurance - This is a vital cover which protects against claims, for example if a staff member was to administer the wrong medication.

• Infectious disease cover - Cover against break out of infections is an important protection for most businesses operating in the care industry. Towergate offer cover against all known diseases, but whoever you get insurance with, make sure it offers the widest protection possible.

• Flexible liability cover - While most policies will include public liability cover at £5million as standard (our policies do this too) there are times when you may need to temporarily or permanently raise this limit to £10million in order to tender for a public contract. Try to find a policy which offers you flexible limits meaning you can raise (and lower) the amount you’re covered by. This will stop you from missing out on quality contracts that require higher levels of liability.

• Residents’ contents - The personal belongings, valuables and money belonging to your residents are covered under this section. As an example, we cover your residents’ for valuables up to £1,000 per person, pedal cycles up to £250 and personal money up to £100. All other items are included within the sums insured you set.  These levels can differ between policies so make sure you check what you’re covered for.

Care home insurance features

In this section we look at some of the common business insurance protections features you will want in place for your care home. 

Buildings Insurance 

• A care home is reliant on the premises and is most likely your most expensive asset. Buildings insurance exists to cover the costs for repairing damage right through to rebuilding. You should insure yourself for the full re-build cost of your property. Make sure you factor in any outbuildings, boundary walls, pools, fitted kitchens and bathrooms etc. as well as the building itself. 

Contents insurance

• Contents cover is there to protect the items in your building, belonging to the business. This means everything from office equipment to specialist care machinery such as mobility equipment. 

Personal belongings

• Employees’ and residents’ personal belonging can also be covered on a care home policy. The amounts can differ though between insurers and policies. Resident’s high value items will likely need to be insured separately.

Engineering inspection

• Service equipment such as lifts are required by law to be inspected on a regular basis, some annually and others bi-annually, a good insurance provider can arrange these inspections (usually at an additional cost) as part of your protection plan.

Public liability

• This is to protect you and your customers. As the owner/manager you are responsible for making your care home as risk free as possible but accidents can still happen. Public liability insurance will cover your legal liability for accidental loss, damage or injury to a third party on your premises.

Employers’ liability

• This is a legal requirement for employers’ liability, usually for £5million, although some policies will include limits up to £10million, as does Towergate’s. Employers’ liability insurance guarantees you have access to adequate funds should you need to compensate a member of your staff for an injury or damage from a situation you, as their employer, are liable for.

Business interruption

• Should an insured event such as fire cause interruption to your business you’ll be able to claim for loss of income. Cover can also include extra costs such as increase in the cost of working, for example hiring extra staff or logistical costs if part of the building was out of action.

Tips on getting the best cover

Building and tenant improvements – Maintaining and modernising a care home is a full time job. As you grow, add new equipment, make repairs or add extensions make sure you re-calculate you building and contents ‘sum insured’ levels accordingly.  Without being careful you could exceed the amount you are covered for which could have a negative effect if you needed to make a claim.

Personal accident – In the care industry standard can’t be allowed to slip. But if a personal accident is keeping a member of staff off sick extra pressure is added to the rest of your work force, creating stress. Personal accident cover on your care home insurance policy can cover you for increased costs of working due to an absence of this kind, helping you to pay for replacement staff and keep your standards up.

Why Towergate?

As well as providing you with insurance cover our care home customers have access to all these useful features free of charge.

• elXtr – This is an online care-specific human resources management and solutions tool. 

• 24 legal advice line - Giving you access to industry-specific qualified solicitors and barristers for impartial advice over the phone, at any time. You don’t need to have a claim brought against you, so even if you suspect one might be raised, contact them for advice on how to handle the situation.

• Bespoke legal expenses - Protects you and your business in the event of legal disputes and provides cover for the costs of solicitors, barristers, expert witnesses and court proceedings.

• 24-hour stress helpline - The care industry sees a high level of stress amongst staff. Our free, confidential service offers employers the resource to provide their duty of care. This can prove a vital tool in helping your staff cope and keeping up your standards.

If you would like a care home insurance quote, please contact us today to speak to one of our friendly advisors. Call 01438 739280 or e-mail newcare@towergate.co.uk quoting Care and Nursing. 

You can also fill in an enquiry or call back form on our website and one of our advisors will get back to you. Please visit www.towergateinsurance.co.uk/care-and-medical-insurance for more information



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