Ecclesiastical draws back from care home insurance
Caring Times, February 2014
Ecclesiastical Insurance Office plc, the largest provider of insurance in the UK care home sector, announced in December that it will withdraw from the care home insurance market, with the exception of charity operated care homes.
This change, which is expected to take place from March 2014, is expected to have considerable implications both for the insurance market and for care homes. David Waters, managing director of the broker Care Home Insurance Services, said Ecclesiastical currently insured about 30% of all care homes in the UK, more than any other insurer.
“Its withdrawal from the care market will come as another ‘body blow’ to the care industry and is likely to have lasting ramifications, both for the insurance industry and for care home operators,” said Mr Waters.
“The market is likely to harden in the coming months with other insurers likely to reconsider their own position and almost certainly looking to increase their premiums and quite possibly limit their exposures. We are hearing that abuse cover is likely to be restricted by many insurers from January.
“The failings of certain care home operators have been well documented in the media and the increase both in the frequency of litigious claims and the rise in the costs of litigation have coincided with a significant number of care homes coming under financial pressure.
“While it is saddening to hear of Ecclesiastical’s withdrawal, this latest development could just be the shot in the arm that prompts care home operators to overhaul their risk management and safety awareness.”