Risk Management Considerations for Caring Professionals & Their Businesses

By Claire Squire, Balens Specialist Insurance Brokers

As a business owner or individual carer / practitioner you can be held legally liable for injury, harm or financial loss alleged to have been caused to your clients, patients, other parties or loss/damage to their property. You may consider a Professional Liability Insurance Policy to give you peace of mind, should the worst occur. However, the reality is that regardless of insurance, a complaint or claim against you or your business can be stressful, time consuming and costly, with potential unexpected knock-on effects.

Whilst you will never be able to completely eradicate the risk, there is much you can do to mitigate the potential of a complaint or claim:

• Communication – Good quality communication (especially listening skills) and developing a quality therapeutic relationship with clients is key.

• Boundaries – Keep your boundaries; respect your client’s / patient’s autonomy and dignity.

• Legislation – Ensure you and your staff comply with all relevant legislation (i.e. Health and Safety, Data Protection etc.), have good policies and procedures in place for these and evidence of training received by Team Members.

• Audits and Risk Assessments – Should be reviewed regularly as part of your Health and Safety procedures.

• Insurance – Professional Liability Insurance, the quality of which will only be tested at the time when it is called upon, so check the policy meets your requirements.

Cover will typically include Professional Liability and Public Liability as standard, but it’s useful to consider other elements, e.g. any advice given or cover for mental anguish caused; manual or electrical equipment used as part of your profession; Loss of Reputation Cover, for repair of reputation following a complaint or claim etc.

• Policy Terms and Conditions – Ensure you and your staff are aware of and comply with all Insurance policy Terms and Conditions.

• Seek help and assistance – In the unfortunate event of someone making a complaint, contact your Insurance Broker to gain their support through the process. A complaint dealt with well can be a positive experience, dealt with badly, it may lead to a more costly claim.

Balens has a list of common ‘Do’s and Don’ts’ in complaint situations on our website, which may also be of assistance.
Established in 1950, Balens are a fourth generation, ethical, family run Insurance Brokerage focussing on guidance, support and service.

Specialists in providing insurance policies for Health and Wellbeing Professionals and related professions including Care Homes, Domiciliary Care Agencies, Supported Living Providers, Day Care Centres and Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation Centres. Offering a wide range of insurance services for both individual and business requirements.

For further details and information please visit www.balens.co.uk