Would your practice suffer? How would you pay for a temporary replacement, or afford to pay overtime for internal cover? What if they were off work for weeks, or months, or longer?
The value of good Locum Insurance
Unplanned absences though, such as long-term sickness, family emergencies, accidents and even Jury Duty, can cause disruption to your practice, both operationally and financially.
If your practice manager or your administrators are unable to work, you could find your practice seriously under-resourced and struggling to run effectively on a day-to-day basis.
If one of your associates is absent, then you could have both a resource issue, plus a fall in income and profit from a loss of fees.
Some doctors, dentists and healthcare professionals will have Locum Insurance as an individual.
However, because it isn’t mandatory for an associate to have their own arrangements for cover, you could find yourself in the position of having to pick up the pieces if they are unable to work.
Employees, almost certainly will not have their own Locum Insurance, which is why a policy for the practice covers you for all eventualities.
How does good Locum Insurance work?
Locum insurance is designed to cover the costs incurred if a practitioner on the policy is unable to work.
The pay-out can be used to meet the costs of a locum replacement, or to pay overtime to colleagues that provide the same cover.
Alternatively, policies can be taken as “annually renewable”, although these could be challenged and restricted upon the request for renewal.
A professional insurance broker can talk through which policy would suit your practice best.
It is always essential to review all documentation in advance of signing. As with all insurance products, the detailed Terms & Conditions contain more information on who is insured, how the insurance works and how you claim.
A few things to fully understand:
How much is each employee or associate insured for, per week or month
What is the benefit period? How long is the maximum pay-out? It is often defaulted to 12 months, however it is up to you to decide on the policy you require. Generally, the lower the benefit period, the lower the monthly insurance premium.
What is the deferment period? There is often a set period before the policy starts to pay-out. This can more often than not be set by you. Generally, the longer the deferment period, the lower the monthly insurance premium.
Claim back tax relief on your premiums
It is possible to also claim tax relief on your insurance premiums as a legitimate business expense.
Whilst premiums for Locum Insurance can be cost-effective, depending on the provider and the specific terms, the tax benefits are an added bonus.
Insurance income is aimed to cover costs, as surplus income could be taxable.
Review your cover regularly
It is important to always review your insurance policies to ensure they are still relevant, worthwhile and offer enough cover for your practice as it grows and expands.
If you take on extra associates within the year, or your salaried team grows then make sure you are sufficiently insured.