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Update Thursday 05th November 2020

With news of a national lockdown in England being effective from today, and different restrictions being in place throughout Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland, Balens have summarised some key information we feel may help our policyholders throughout the current pandemic.  With our customers’ operating throughout the UK and performing a highly diverse range of activities, it is important to recognise that we can provide general guidance only - it is beyond our remit as Insurance Brokers to give definitive, specific advice on your individual ability to trade, or the conditions applicable to such trading.

PROFESSIONAL LIABILITY & MALPRACTICE POLICY:

Balens professional liability & malpractice policy will continue to respond (within the standard terms and conditions) providing you follow government guidelines and where relevant the advice of your professional association or governing body. These considerations should be noted or evidenced where appropriate. For policyholders based in England you can view the government guidelines on the following website: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/new-national-restrictions-from-5-november.

The policy does not hold any exclusions to restrict/prevent a policyholder from practicing the activities noted on their schedule, however, the policy does include an exclusion against criminal, malicious or fraudulent acts.

We have answered some frequently asked questions here:

Q. Will my policy provide cover if I continue to work?
A: Yes, your professional liability policy is in place to cover you to practice the activities noted on your schedule. The policy will continue to provide cover for any treatment or advice you offer or provide in relation to these activities. Please note you are required to follow the government guidelines that apply to your sector and location. The policy will also provide cover for remote consultations with clients if you are looking to continue offering some of your services online or over the phone, please see further information below.

Q: What cover applies to virus related claims?
A: The policy covers you against third party claims or allegations of negligently causing accidental bodily injury (which includes illness) in the course of your business. The onus will be on the claimant to prove you were negligent. Any claim will be individually judged by insurers and subject to the full policy terms and conditions.

Q: Can I continue to practice whilst the country is in lockdown?
A: Balens, as an Insurance Broker, are unable to provide to you with specific guidance on whether you can continue to work, or what measures need to be taken to continue your practice. Guidance on this will depend on the activities you practice and your location. As you can appreciate, making such important decisions is outside of our remit. Our core purpose, is to source a suitable policy to meet your insurance needs and to clarify how cover operates. That said, many of you will know, that Balens is a specialist Broker in the Health, Wellbeing, Fitness and Beauty arena and prides itself on supporting our clients. We have put together the following considerations:

  • Follow the Government guidelines and advice at all times and abide by any legislative requirements.
  • Consult your Professional Body, Association and/or Training Provider for guidance, if relevant.
  • Follow Best Practice guidance and observe any Codes of Conduct, if relevant.
  • Consider whether it is essential that you undertake work, whether you are deemed a key or critical worker and whether all Government restrictions have been lifted for your business sector.
  • Evaluate whether you can treat clients remotely via video-link and observe social distancing rules/infection control.
  • Execute your own professional judgement.

Q: What do I do if someone makes an allegation or claim against me?
A: Report it immediately to us, preferably by email to Claims@balens.co.uk. We will support you in the normal way in getting all relevant information together for insurers. Do not admit liability. Please refer to your policy document for full claims conditions.

Q: Does my policy cover me to practice my business activities online?
A: Yes - with certain exceptions the policy will automatically provide cover for the business activities on your policy schedule when it is possible to conduct them via Skype, telephone or online consultations. All are subject to the standard terms and conditions of the policy, including the record keeping conditions that you can find in the 'Conditions' section of the policy wording. If you have any queries about online or 'virtual' trading please email:

    The main exceptions to cover, unless specifically agreed and endorsed on your policy, are:
  • Activities provided to clients in the USA and/or Canada, and
  • Cover for training resulting in the issue of a certificate of competency.

Please contact us at the email addresses above if you require cover for either of these matters. Additional information will be required.

HELPING US TO MAINTAIN SERVICES

Balens are following government guidelines and as such have as many staff working from home as is possible. To ensure we can answer all clients as quickly and efficiently as possible we kindly ask you to follow the below wherever possible:

    • Where possible, please contact us by email, not telephone. Addresses are:
    • Make renewal and other premium payments by BACS transfer. Your documents give an important BACS payment reference and instructions.
    • Check your inbox regularly, including spam folders, for Balens emails, particularly when approaching your renewal date. If you've changed your Email address recently let us know.
    • Use our online services as highlighted in your documents.
    • Follow our website 'News' link for updates and information on how our services may change as the situation develops.
    • Check our Insurance Q&A section in the first instance to try to answer cover related questions. We will update this frequently

We are working hard through this difficult period to ensure we can respond to all our clients as quickly as possible and we appreciate your support at this time.