Don’t get tripped up by general liability claims

The medical profession tends to focus on medical liability claims but GP practices are also vulnerable to general liability claims made by employees or members of the public who suffer injury or damage to their property at your premises.

These groups are covered under Employers’ Liability and Public Liability policies respectively and can be expensive - not to mention time-consuming - to settle.  Keith Kimber, Manager at Towergate Insurance, Stevenage explains why practice managers should be particularly aware of the potential for public liability claims:

GP practices see large numbers of patients and among them will be people with a range of physical impairments that make them more  vulnerable to accident and injury.”

He advises that some general liability products provide more appropriate cover for surgeries than others, so it’s important to seek advice from a specialist like Towergate Insurance.

Prevention is better than cure

Slips, trips and falls make up the majority of public liability claims so keep areas free of clutter, clean up spillages quickly, fix raised carpet edges and train staff in the importance of recognising and removing potential hazards.

Accidents will happen

Even in the most risk aware practices, accidents can happen and in today’s compensation-driven climate, a claim is not only more likely it can be more expensive to resolve too. Keith says:

Insurers expect to deal with liability claims within reason but how you respond if it happens to you will almost certainly influence future premium levels and cover offered.”

Effective management plan

Towergate Insurance suggests some strategies to help practice managers stay in control of the situation:

  1. Inform your insurer and broker as soon as possible. Some policies have strict rules about what information should be provided to whom and when.
  2. Get a grip on the evidence. Collect written details of what happened quickly as memories can fade or become confused over time.
  3. Put it right. Fixing a problem is not an admission of guilt and could help prevent future incidents.
  4. Show you care. Be supportive to the injured party and consider formal medical assistance.  This might avoid a claim and usually makes for a quick recovery. If a claim is subsequently made, payments for time off, loss of earnings and physical suffering could be significantly reduced.

Keith concludes “Don’t underestimate the benefits of being compassionate to both employees and patients. It could transform a difficult and potentially expensive situation.”

Professional help

It’s only when you make an insurance claim that you realise how important expert help is. Towergate Insurance’s friendly, professional claims advisors will support you through the process and assist you to help get   your claim settled promptly so you can get on with caring for your patients.

Towergate is pleased to offer exclusive discounts to FPM members *:

  • 10% off specialist Surgery Insurance
  • 20% off specialist Locum Insurance
  • 10% off specialist Home Insurance

If you already have a policy with Towergate, we offer a multi-policy discount when you buy additional policies through Towergate.

Find out more at www.towergate.co.uk or call us 01438 739682.

*Please note discounts are only applicable to members of First Practice Management who are direct customers of Towergate Insurance in Stevenage. We reserve the right to withdraw this discount at any time without prior notice. 

Towergate Insurance is a trading name of the Towergate Underwriting Group Limited. Registered in England No. 4043759. Registered address: Towergate House, Eclipse Park, Sittingbourne Road, Maidstone, Kent ME14 3EN. Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

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