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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic: Advice for Practitioners UPDATE

16th April 2020

Dear Colleague

 

As a consequence of the Government’s stay-at-home policy during the current crisis, we know that many of our Registrants will be finding things difficult, not only with their personal home lives but also as a consequence of the inability of their clients to physically attend therapy sessions.

 

However, we are aware that significant numbers of practitioners have either reverted to, or have expanded upon, working from home by remote means and as these methods will undoubtedly become more prevalent with the ever-increasing advances in technology, however unwelcome the reason, this situation does nonetheless present the perfect opportunity for those who may have previously avoided doing so to familiarise themselves with both the process and the available resources for carrying it out.

 

We therefore need to bring to your attention the important matter of insurance cover for therapy delivered by remote means (e.g. Skype, Zoom, telephone etc.), as we have been made aware that this would not necessarily be automatically provided within your Professional Indemnity policy by some insurers. Consequently, please refer to the below item ‘Further Information from Towergate Insurance’ which confirms the current situation with that particular insurer.

 

Launch of Free Covid-19 Information Centre and Employment Law Hub

 

We have been requested by the Towergate Insurance, one of the GHR’s preferred insurance companies, to bring the below information to the attention of our Registrants:

 

As a business, you are likely to be facing a number of challenges as a result of either the COVID-19 coronavirus itself or the preventative measures brought in to control it. In an effort to support our clients and prospective clients, we are pleased to launch our free COVID-19 Information Centre, which can be found at https://www.towergate.com/covid-19-updates

 

Here you can find all of the relevant information, guidance and resources available on this fast-moving subject matter, including:

 

Risk alerts – giving you up-to-date information as the situation progresses

 

Templates and checklists – downloadable documents that can be used to get business critical plans in place

 

Practical advice – guidance and support regarding business continuity

 

Signposting – to Government schemes to support businesses, employees and the self-employed, giving you all the information that you need in one place (N.B. The latest article released is a summary of the Government’s latest self-employed income support scheme, announced by the Chancellor Rishi Sunak on 26th March 2020.) Please find this here:  https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/chancellor-outlines-new-coronavirus-support-measures-for-the-self-employed

 

HEALTH & SAFETY AND EMPLOYMENT LAW HUB

If you are an employer, you will no doubt have specific concerns regarding Health & Safety and Employment Law. To offer our clients support, we have been working closely with our long-term partner, Ellis Whittam, who have launched a Coronavirus Advice Hub to which we are pleased to be able to give you free access.

 

Ellis Whittam combine the service quality of a law firm with the certainty of fixed-fee services to provide tailored solutions-focused Employment Law and Health & Safety support to help business owners proactively solve problems, ensure regulatory compliance and achieve commercial objectives.

 

This hub provides advice and assistance on both Health & Safety and Employment Law, including:

 

Live situation map

 

Downloadable documents and templates

 

eLearning and guidance videos

 

Latest blogs and FAQs

 

Call backs from qualified experts

 

Get exclusive access to the Coronavirus Advice Hub here: https://elliswhittam.com/covid-19/register/

 

It’s free and is regularly updated, so please feel free to register and start using today.

 

Further information from Towergate Insurance

 

Following discussions with the GHR, Towergate’s underwriters confirm that they will be happy to provide cover for remote working as detailed in Clauses 32 – 40 (Online & Remote Therapy) of GHR’s Code of Ethics (see https://www.general-hypnotherapy-register.com/code-of-ethics/) always providing that said Clauses are adhered to. Anyone wishing to do anything outside of this content should contact Towergate and who will then review on an individual basis.

 

We need to advise callers, however, that they may experience higher waiting times in relation to emails and telephone messages left. Towergate’s normal service level to respond is one working day but in the current difficult situation this may take up to 5 working days. Registrants should be assured that we will deal with each enquiry received and we are aiming to get back to people as quickly as possible so if they could bear with us and not chase within that timeframe it would be very much appreciated.

 

We would be very happy to speak with any Registrant who is experiencing issues in obtaining confirmation of cover from insurers other than ourselves in respect of home working but we would stress the importance of not cancelling any existing policy until such time as we have had the opportunity to speak with them.

 

This is particularly pertinent because over the past couple of weeks we have seen that some clients are cancelling their liability insurance. Whilst in these extremely difficult times this is understandable, we feel it is important that practitioners fully understand the implications of taking this course of action. As such we would advise all practitioners who have either contacted us to cancel their policy or just cancelled their direct debit through their bank accordingly:

Important Information Regarding Your Professional Liability Policy 

Please note this is not a marketing communication but important information relating to your policy.

WHY YOU SHOULDN’T CANCEL YOUR PROFESSIONAL LIABILITIES INSURANCE AS A RESULT OF THE DISRUPTION CAUSED BY THE COVID-19 OUTBREAK

Under the unprecedented circumstances brought about by the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus, and the preventative measures that have been put in place as a result, we fully sympathise and understand that you may be considering cancelling your insurance policy due to needing to carefully manage your expenses. However, we have a responsibility to inform you of any impact caused by this action.

This cover is complex and under certain circumstances, cancelling your cover midterm or allowing your policy to expire at renewal could have a detrimental impact on your protection provided to you by the policy. In doing so, you could be left significantly at risk for any of your past work carried out over the years. We would therefore strongly recommend, that before you consider cancelling or lapsing your policy, that you speak to us to ensure you are not left exposed in any way.

The information contained in this communication is based on sources that we believe are reliable and should be understood as general risk management and insurance information only. It is not intended to be taken as advice with respect to any specific or individual situation and cannot be relied upon as such. If you wish to discuss your specific requirements, please do not hesitate to contact us using the details below: 

For more information contact the Towergate team on 01438 735251 or by email at new.pro.liability@towergate.co.uk.

 

N.B. The GHR would advise Registrants that the above message from Towergate Insurance relates solely to those practitioners who have their Professional Indemnity policies via Towergate and although other Insurance Companies may operate in the same or a similar fashion, practitioners who have such insurance via other insurance providers should contact their respective provider to ascertain their position in regard to both remote working and cancelled policies.

 

…………………………………………………………………………………….

 

The Administration Team

 

Views expressed within GHR published material and any conclusions reached are those of the authors

and not necessarily shared by other individuals, organisations or agencies

©General Hypnotherapy Register

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