It follows an increase in the legal and regulatory pressures within the care sector 

Insurance provider Markel will now offer legal expenses cover to policyholders insured under its social welfare policy.

It will be offered as an “optional section” with the insurer’s social welfare package policy.

Its managing director, Simon Fell said that the firm has seen a “dramatic increase in the legal and regulatory pressures within the care sector.”

Under pressure

During 2017-18 Markel cited a 109% increase of enforcement actions. This is compared to 1,090 in 2015-16.

The insurer said that a “more robust regulatory and legislative compliance environment” has seen a marked rise in the number of enforcement actions taken by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) against operators in the social welfare sector.

Fell added: “There is now greater exposure for our policyholders and the option of legal expenses insurance offers the assurance of cover should the need arise.

“Legal expenses insurance also enhances our existing portfolio of services, including access to specialist care consultancy services and the Law Hub.”

Who is it for?

The social welfare package policy caters to a range of charities, care providers, social enterprises and not-for-profit organisations. These include day and youth centres, children’s homes, mental health support and hospices.

It includes the following:

  • Cover to mitigate any potential fines - whether found guilty or not - if an accident or incident occurs in the workplace and the HSE investigate
  • Representation at the coroner’s court if an accident is fatal and a coroner or fatal accident inquiry commences
  • Protection to appeal the decision, whether the CQC or OFSTED amend, alter or not renew the terms of the licence issued to operate
  • Representation for member of staff in the event of a safeguarding enquiry resulting in a criminal prosecution of said member, providing there is a reasonable chance of obtaining a not guilty verdict

In November last year, Canopius announced the appointment of a new head of claims – Gabrielle Foliard who was previously at Markel.