We have had clients in Northern Ireland getting in touch to ask what their insurer’s stance is regarding the potential for ‘forced’ admissions to care homes of individuals leaving hospital with a positive Covid-19 status.
We have discussed the issue with Markel and Zurich and they each have a very similar stance. They consider the acceptance by a Northern Ireland care home operator of individuals with a positive Covid-19 status as material fact. If any of your clients with a BT (Belfast) postcode ever take in a resident who has a positive status, they must always let you know, whenever they become aware of the fact.
There are two sections of our care home policy that are most relevant in this scenario: employers liability and public liability.
Employers liability cover for care organisations during Covid-19
Care home insurance policies continue to provide cover should an employee hold their employer responsible for them catching Covid-19. The issue is not the existence of cover, instead it is claims defensibility.
For the insurer to be able to mount a robust defence of any claim, your client must be able to supply documentation which would prove that whilst their employee has caught Covid-19, this is not as a result of any negligence of them.
These would take the form of training records, copies of infection control procedures, risk assessments, care plans etc. All of these are documents which are required by regulatory agencies rather than anything additional.
Public liability cover for care organisations during Covid-19
The position regarding coverage under the public liability section continues to evolve. Insurers are looking to either withdraw cover for ‘communicable diseases’ under the public liability section of policies or to reduce their potential exposure by reducing the limit of indemnity significantly. Despite this reduction in cover or even a new exclusion, any plan to admit individuals with a positive Covid-19 status is a material fact that should be disclosed to insurers.
More advice on care insurance during Covid-19
The Covid-19 pandemic is ongoing and insurers need to be kept up to date with the changing nature of client operations including the individuals being cared for. We recommend that you make contact with your usual contact at Towergate to discuss any queries you may have.
Care insurance from Towergate
Towergate sources specialist business insurance policies designed specifically for the care sector. As one of the UK’s largest independently owned insurance brokers, we use our enormous buying power to give you access to leading insurers. This keeps the quality of your cover high and your premiums competitive.
About the author
Mark Brannon Cert CII is a respected industry leader with over 17 years’ industry experience in a variety of roles within the business insurance sector. He works across a wide spectrum of insurance product and policy development, delivery and optimisation for clients, including claims, insurer relationships, marketing and communications, and risk management.
The information contained in this bulletin is based on sources that we believe are reliable and should be understood as general risk management and insurance information only. It is not intended to be taken as advice with respect to any specific or individual situation and cannot be relied upon as such. If you wish to discuss your specific requirements, please do not hesitate to contact your usual Towergate Insurance Brokers adviser.