Practice insurances

practice insurancesGP and Dental practices require specialist financial advice due to the ever-changing practice related insurance markets.

MedDen will always talk through your requirements before making recommendations from the specialist providers we deal with.

Locum/Practice Expenses Insurance

When accident or sickness befalls a partner or key member of staff the effect on your practice will at the least be inconvenient, but can be devastating. Either way, without the right type of insurance, it is very costly. Modern locum/practice expenses cover extend beyond physical or health-based incapacity to include insurance against absence due to jury service, suspension and maternity/paternity leave.

Discounts are available for multiple applicants applying for cover under a group policy.

Surgery Insurance

Typically a package will provide cover for 'All Risks' on surgery contents, practice interruption, employer's liability, public/products liability, glass, money and assault. Insurers will typically allow you to extend that standard policy to include legal expenses, buildings cover, employee dishonesty, computer breakdown & reinstatement of data, etc.

Cross Option Agreement

Partners’ share agreements may provide for the remaining partners to purchase the share of other partners when they die. However, there is a risk that the remaining partners may not have sufficient funds to hand when a fellow partner dies unexpectedly.

One way round this is to take out life cover as a source of funding.

To arrange such cover requires the understanding and agreement of all concerned. It will also require some careful figure work to determine how much cover is required. But it will be a comfort to all partners of a practice to know that their own or a colleague's death will leave the other partners with sufficient support to carry out the terms of their practice/partnership agreement.

Staff Pension Scheme

With the introduction of the National Employment Savings Trust (NEST) from 2012 employers may want to consider establishing a staff pension scheme sooner rather than later. This will mean that you are not imposed by the Government to set one up and will allow for the business to ease into a new monthly expense.

Personal Accounts are pension plans for employees intended to solve the problems of low portability and high charges in some current pension schemes that may be unattractive to sectors of the workforce. Personal Accounts will operate as a large, multi-employer occupational pension scheme and will extend the benefits of employer schemes to those currently with no access to them.

The main proposals are:

All eligible employees will be enrolled into either a personal account or an employer-sponsored scheme. Employers and employees contributions totalling 8% (including Government relief) will be mandatory so as to avoid a repetition of the failed Stakeholder Pension initiative of 2001.

It is proposed that:

  • Individuals will be enrolled if they earn over £5,000;
  • Employees will contribute 4% of their earnings of between £5,000 and £33,500 per annum;
  • The employer contribution will be 3% together with 1% in the form of tax relief from the State;
  • The band of earnings on which contributions will be paid will be uprated in line with earnings to ensure the scheme is sustainable;
  • Employees aged over 22 and below the State Pension age will be eligible for automatic enrolment; and
  • Employees outside these age bands will be able to opt in to the scheme, with access to an employer contribution if they fall within the earnings bands.

The Government wants to support employers who choose to offer their own pension schemes. They are proposing to exempt employers from the requirement to enrol their employees if they operate a scheme of broadly equal or better value to Personal Accounts.

It is clear that from 2012 all medical and dental employers will have to look at providing a pension scheme for staff.

The next step:

Rather than wait until this is forced on you, we strongly recommend you look at establishing your own bespoke staff scheme now. This can be done as a gradual enhancement of staff salaries, minimising the impact on your profitability and providing tangible staff loyalties and securities.

Partners and staff benefits

Recruiting, motivating and retaining able staff is a key preoccupation of many of our clients’ practices and getting the rewards mix right is an important ingredient. Remuneration menus made up of pensions, life insurance and benefits are common in well-managed businesses. But they require careful planning and selection depending on the type of staff who are involved.

If staff are the keys to successful practices, then well-founded and well-managed reward strategies are vital. Taking the right advice early on means that you can make the right moves sooner rather than later. The result should be contented and efficient staff who are confident that they are getting the best deal for their time and their labour.

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