A recent article in Pulse contained some worrying statistics on GP numbers which will undoubtedly lead to upward pressure on locum costs.

The responses that such articles generate can be also be depressing.  Comments such as ‘Young GPs should not sign up to a dying profession as a partner and either be salaried or even better leave the UK for better prospects elsewhere’are not uncommon.

We all know that statistics can be manipulated to prove almost any point.  Even so, there does seem to be a consensus that practices are finding it increasingly difficult to recruit and retain partners which is leading to a rise in locum costs and recruitment costs.  

Practice Cover, locum and overheads insurance specialists to the UK medical market, is delighted to announce that it has acquired Howden Insurance Brokers’ locum insurance business.

Full Locum Insurance Acquisition Details Here

Talking to GPs about their locum insurance, it’s obvious that the policy feature that one GP thinks is essential is another’s total waste of money. 

Want cover for HIV contracted through work?  How about jury service?  Would you need a policy which pays towards home modifications, hospital trips and childcare costs if you’re injured in an accident?   Do you want permanent cover that won’t be withdrawn no matter how many times you have to claim?

We have seen eye-wateringly low locum insurance premiums in the past few weeks which, in our view, are simply not economically viable.

I was pondering this when I went to a networking meeting the other day and spoke to someone about his commercial buildings insurance. He shopped around at the last renewal and moved to one of the cheapest providers he could find.    He liked the premium,  was signed up quickly and all went swimmingly until he had to claim.

That’s when he came unstuck. 

We’re assailed from all sides by choice.  We’re persuaded by retailers, educationalists, the media and so on that choice is good. But can this mean needlessly adding complexity to something which should be simple?  Can offering a choice deter people from making a decision?  If a potential customer knows he or she wants to buy, say, locum insurance, do we deter them by asking if they want this, that or the other from a menu of benefits?

What to look for when choosing a locum insurance policy

In a nutshell:

  • How long will the policy pay out for?
  • How much cover do I need?
  • When will it start paying?
  • Are there any restrictions on what I can do with the money?
  • Can I buy a policy on my own or does it have to be through my practice?
  • What if I have pre-existing medical conditions?
  • What if I’m over 70?
  • If our practice buys a group policy will the younger lives end up subsidising the older lives?


I look forward to receiving the policy documentation in due course and would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your patience in dealing with this case!

AHP, Somerset

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