Further to the Government’s announcement of 23 June 2020 to further relax the COVID 19 lockdown restrictions, we have been reviewing the amended guidelines with various Insurers, legal counsel and the Department for Health and Public Health England (via our local MP’s office) with a view to obtaining clarity for our clients as to whether the new guidelines allow businesses that provide aesthetic treatments, which are not for medical and healthcare reasons, to reopen.
Whilst those enquiries are necessarily ongoing, we consider it appropriate to provide our clients with an update to our statement published 26 May 2020 (https://www.enhanceinsurance.co.uk/2020/05/26/returning-to-work-in-the-aesthetics-industry-are-you-insured/).
We believe that as brokers and advisors to our clients we should provide our clients with clear and concise advice, upon receipt of which they may make an informed decision, after careful consideration of the risks, about how best to safely reopen their practice or clinic over the coming weeks with the wellbeing and safety of their staff & patients (new and existing) at the very centre of that decision making process.
At this time we can confirm that your Medical Malpractice Insurance placed via Enhance will continue to provide cover for allegations and/or claims relating to bodily injury following a treatment/procedure administered:
- prior to lockdown and the temporary closing of your practice/clinic;
- during the lockdown period that were administered in accordance with government guidelines;
- following the re-opening of your clinic/practice.
Subject to compliance with the following criteria:
- Your premiums being paid in full for the current insurance period (or payments up to date if paying by premium installments);
- You remaining a Registered Professional Healthcare Provider;
- Your adherence to the guidance of Public Health England (PHE), or that of your professional body if that advice exceeds the guidance of PHE, on Patient Safety and social distancing;
- You continuing to undertake a full patient selection and consent process for each treatment you provide, but with the added consideration, evidenced via appropriate questions and investigations, to those that are vulnerable to or shielding from COVID 19 and any individuals whom self-isolation or quarantine guidelines apply;
- Taking into account the advice and/or guidance issued by regulators, your professional body, the Chief Professional Officers, the NHS or government guidelines (including guidance specific to close contact services) ensuring special attention given to the differences in those guidelines in different countries.
As always, cover under any insurance policy is strictly dependent on your compliance with the terms, conditions and exclusions of your policy.
The omission within the updated Government Guidelines (published 24 June 2020) to provide clarity around the ability for a clinic/practice providing aesthetic treatments which are not for medical or healthcare reasons, to reopen remains a concern as it creates an ambiguity regarding cover under a medical malpractice policy. You can read them here: Keeping-workers-and-clients-safe-during-covid-19-close-contact-services-230620
As per our advice above, you need take into account and consider the relevant guidelines. Compliance with these guidelines is a prerequisite of all Medical Malpractice Insurance policies and failure to do so could invalidate your insurance.
As per our note to policyholders, dated 26th May 2020, we would strongly recommend that your insurers are notified of any intended return to work, as this is a material fact that would need disclosing.
Further updates will follow, but in the meantime, you can be confident that compliance with the above advice and/or your policy terms and conditions will maintain the validity of your insurance.
Please note that none of the advice provided above is intended as or constitutes in any way legal advice. Our advice is provided solely in our capacity as insurance brokers and any advice regarding provision of cover is hypothetical and not a guarantee of a claim being paid. Any claim made would be assessed by underwriters and any decision on liability will be determined following a review of the individual circumstances of the claim notified and a review of your compliance with the policy terms and exclusions. If your medical Malpractice Insurance is not purchased via Enhance Insurance Services or Tasker Insurance Brokers Limited then we would strongly advise you contact your Insurer and/or Insurance broker for advice in relation to provision of cover and returning to work at this time before you make any decisions regarding providing treatments to your customers.