Insurance broker agrees to provide cover for children’s homes sector

A deal between an insurance broker and the National Association
of Independent Resources for Children could save hundreds of
children’s homes from closure.

Macclesfield-based Bollington Group has agreed to take business
from Nairc, which has more than 200 members.

The deal follows the news that insurance companies were refusing
to take business from children’s homes because they considered them
to be “too high risk”.

Those who were able to obtain insurance found that they were
facing big rises in their premiums. Nairc held an emergency meeting
after it was inundated with calls from homes, many of which were on
the verge of closure.

A spokesperson for Nairc said that the problem was far from
resolved and would top the agenda of a meeting with the Department
of Health in October. But she added that the deal with Bollington
Group had given the sector a welcome boost.

But Julie McGibbon, Bollington’s corporate broking manager,
warned that despite the deal it was still likely that premiums
would continue to soar. “It is unrealistic to say that rates will
not increase because the insurance market in general, not just for
children’s homes, has been affected by 11 September,” she said.

She also said that ignorance in the insurance world about the
amount of risk attached to children’s homes was partly to blame for
companies’ reluctance to take on contracts.

“I have done a lot of research into the care home market and,
particularly with the introduction of the National Care Standards
Commission, I have to say that the risks in homes are managed very
well,” she said.

McGibbon said that Bollington planned to present the research to
other insurance companies in a bid to get more providers interested
in dealing with the children’s home sector.

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