Hints & Tips

To help in your search for staff absence insurance we've put together some useful hints and tips and what you need to know.

When looking to buy Staff Absence Insurance, the provider is obligated to attach a Summary of Cover (sometimes called Key Facts) to your quote. This usually outlines only the main conditions. It may not give you the detail you need to make a fully informed decision. Before buying any policy, we urge you to ask for the full Policy Wording too. A provider is obligated to provide you with one upon request.

1. 'Like-for-like' cover

In short, no two insurers provide identical cover. It may appear that they do because the ‘top level’ information on the quotes and summaries of cover are similar, but the policy wordings will very probably be different.

It is the detail within the policy wording which separates one insurer’s cover from another.

A slight difference in wording here or there can mean the difference between a claim being paid or not; potentially translating to many thousands of pounds.

2. Exclusions

All policies contain exclusions.

This is not necessarily a bad thing, as exclusions can help make policies more affordable. However, it is very important to know from the outset how any exclusion may affect your school.

Pre–existing conditions
Most policies contain what is commonly known as a ‘pre-existing illness exclusion’.

Some insurers apply it only when you first buy the policy. Others may apply it at future renewals too. There is a distinct difference between the two, possibly resulting in a significant difference in the premium being quoted.

We urge you to ask your provider questions, an example being: ‘A staff member was absent six months ago for three weeks with stress. Would you pay a claim if they were absent with stress next year? And what about the year after, if they had stress next year?’

Pre-planned operations
Many, but not all, policies exclude pre-planned operations.

Some insurers may decline a claim if the person had consulted with their doctor in the past. The school may not know about that consultation, because it never resulted in any absence.

Other policies may exclude claims only if the school was aware of a person being on a waiting list.

3. Sickness related to pregnancy

The majority of policies will not completely exclude pregnancy-related sickness.

However, there can be vast differences in the extent of the cover.

It is reasonable to expect a policy to provide cover until the fourth week before the baby is due. This is because a person falling sick in those four weeks can be asked by the school to start maternity leave.

However, there are policies which exclude pregnancy-related sickness for up to 20 weeks before the due birth date, an additional 16-week exclusion period on the 4 weeks. Other insurers cover till 11 weeks or 6 weeks.

4. Stress

The majority of policies will not completely exclude stress. It is the extent to which they do so that can differ significantly. Some treat stress like any other illness.

Some cover work-related stress, but not stress arising from domestic affairs.

Some insurers apply an overall limit to the amount that they will cover and some treat bereavement as stress, whereas others do not.

5. Making a claim

As well as digging in to the detail of the cover, we urge you to ask how the claims process works. For example:

  • When absence occurs, within what period of time must you submit the claim?
  • What happens if the person who usually makes the claim submissions themselves is absent?
  • Are a variety of methods of claim submissions open to you? (online, phone, fax...)
  • If only online is available, what happens if the site is 'down'? Who can you talk to and when?
  • Will doctors have to be contacted? (Staff may not like this and refuse to give the insurers permission to do this)

To find out about our claims process visit our claims page.

6. Maternity leave insurance

Absence for maternity leave is a different risk to sickness absence.

Most insurers offer cover for maternity leave and include paternity leave and adoption leave too, but do check as this is not always the case.

Remember that a person’s entitlement to adoption these days is the same as that for maternity leave. Shared parental leave also needs to be borne in mind).

Maternity cover differs significantly between insurers. Important questions to ask may include:

  • Which members of staff will not be covered? Is anyone already pregnant at the time the policy is bought or is anyone's expected birth date due within a certain period?
  • How much will the insurer pay and after what period of time?
  • Will the person have to return to work in order for the claim to be paid?
  • Will the person have to return to work on the same hours?

For more information about maternity leave visit our maternity leave page.

To find out more about The Education Broker or to get a quote:

call: 0800 7833 500
email: info@theeducationbroker.co.uk


Why choose The Education Broker?

★ We are a Preferred Supplier of NAHT and an Approved Partner of ISBL

★ We offer four different policies, each of which can provide extensive cover

★ Pre-existing illnesses and pre-planned operations can be covered

★ Cover available for chronic conditions

★ Receive our 'Working Well Together' wellbeing service, at no additional cost

'Best Value' analysis in one step

To find out more about The Education Broker or to get a quote:

call: 0800 169 4614
email: info@theeducationbroker.co.uk

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