25 October, 2007
Does your insurance cover you for abuse claims?
And if it does, what cover do you have and over what period of time does the policy provide cover?
There is plenty of guidance on safe working practices and the implementation of child and vulnerable adult protection policies to help prevent the abuse of these people, but we regularly see cases of abuse in the media. All organisations need to ensure they have the best working practices in place to ensure that those in their care are safe and also to ensure that, in the unfortunate scenario that abuse takes place, they have in place insurance cover.
The best thing to do is to take some professional advice. However, if you want to check your policy you should start by looking at the public liability section.
As your appointed insurance broker, we can advise you whether your policy will provide indemnity. We can tell you if there are any exclusions and over what period of time the cover is available. The last thing you would want is a gap in cover, so that a claim arising 10, 20, 30 or 50 years after the incident took place, would not be covered because you switched to an alternative insurer with a different method of dealing with claims. In fact what would happen now if you had a claim made for abuse that happened 25 years ago? Who were you insured with? What level of cover did you have? When did the policy stop providing you with cover?
What are the different covers?
1. No cover at all.
2. Cover excluded and then added back in – claims paid on a losses occurring basis or on a claims made basis.
3. Cover not excluded – claims paid on a losses occurring basis or on a claims made basis.
4. Cover limited: Cover at full indemnity limit or restricted either on a per claim basis or in the aggregate.
The ‘claims made’ basis provides cover for claims made during the period of insurance cover for incidents happening in the period of insurance. Once the policy ends, there is no future cover.
The ‘losses occurring’ basis provides for incidents which occur during the period of insurance even if the claim is not made until many years later. The claim will be dealt with on the level of insurance cover in existence at the time.
As you can see, there are potential problems with either route and we can discuss these issues with you. It may also be possible to purchase some degree of retroactive cover.
If you have any concerns please contact us on 0208 651 7420 or through the contact forms on this website.