GPs warned over bogus locum insurance
By Gareth Iacobucci
The Financial Services Authority has issued a warning to GPs after it emerged practices might be uninsured for locum cover despite handing over thousands of pounds to an insurance firm.
The FSA warned the company, Aquote, which had been selling locum insurance to practices across the country, had not been passing premiums on to insurance providers, leaving any GPs who had signed up without cover.
The FSA said the company was being run by the former director of Synergys Ethical Limited – which was subject to a previous FSA warning last year - and had been offering to renew old Synergys' client policies.
Dr Sonia Devereux, a GP in Newburgh, Tayside, whose practice spent £4,000 on cover from the firm over 18 months, said: ‘We've contacted the FSA and been advised to contact the police because from the outset our policy didn't exist. Although we were paying for it, it wasn't underwritten by anyone.'
Many GPs use locum insurance to protect against the cost of paying for cover while GPs are off work due to sickness or injury.
In a warning on its website, the FSA said: ‘Aquote is an unauthorised firm. We believe it is conducting regulated general insurance business and is not passing premiums on to the relevant insurance providers.
‘This firm should not be confused with ‘A Quote' (a motor and home insurance broker) which is part of Hero Insurance Services Limited.'
It said the finding could potentially affect ‘any customers who think they have taken out an insurance product through Aquote, or any Synergys customer looking to renew their existing policy'.GP practices may not be covered by their locum insurance, the Financial Services Authority has warned