Care home owners facing “astronomical” rises in insurance premiums are asking for government support.
Care England told the BBC the situation was an “enormous threat” to the sector and warned care homes would not be able to take coronavirus patients from hospitals if they were not covered.
Care England Chief executive, Professor Martin Green OBE, said some of the insurance hikes were “astronomical” adding: “We’ve seen people who used to pay £12,000 being told they have to now pay £98,000 and also will get less cover than they used to get.
“So, faced with that situation, businesses are going to have to either find that extra money or in many cases they won’t be able to function and they’ll go out of business.”
Mike Padgham, managing director of Saint Cecilia’s care group, said he had been told his existing policy would rise by 880%.
“I do have some sympathy with the insurance companies because they’re worried about the risk, which is why I want the government to step in and help the industry,” Mike said.
The MD has written to Health and Social Care Secretary, Matt Hancock, calling for government support.
The National Care Association said 68% of survey respondents had reported an increase in their premium with 35% changing insurance provider. The vast majority (93.5%) said they had no COVID-19 cover in their renewal.
The sector is calling for a similar indemnity to that handed out to the health service in order to save businesses from going bust.
A Department for Health and Social spokesperson said: “We are doing everything we can to support the social care sector during this unprecedented pandemic. We are working closely across Government, with care providers and insurance representatives to understand these issues, and any action that may need to be taken.”