IBMS membership fees frozen for 2022
The loss of our group medical malpractice insurance was outside our control and the result of the hardening of the market and increased Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) regulation. Because of these, insurers were unwilling or no longer able to provide group cover.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, group policies are now subject to more stringent FCA rules and the current insurance market is particularly challenging. Described by the insurance industry as a “hard market” - this is where there is less insurer appetite, or capacity to provide quotations, which in turn causes increase in premiums and reduction in the cover provided.
In recent years, IBMS membership has increased on average between £1 to £2 each year. Part of the fee saw members included under the group medical malpractice insurance cover, which worked out around £2 per member. However, earlier this year after being informed by our policy provider that they were unable to continue the cover, we were able to negotiate a 6-month extension whilst we looked for alternative providers.
The cost of this temporary cover was £190,000, around £10 per member, which we agreed to cover rather than pass on as an additional cost on to members. However, this approach is unsustainable in the long term. New insurance quotes received through a specialist broker, who approached alternative insurance companies that were willing to provide the same level of cover, has seen significant rises in the cost of cover.
The IBMS was left with a decision that would have seen membership fee increases, well above the cost of membership with the insurance being included. Leading to a situation where members would be paying for cover they may not have needed, along with their higher membership costs.
Following an alternative approach, whereby members are advised to check with their employers if they are already covered, the IBMS have been able to introduce members to a scheme where they have the ability to purchase individual cover should they require it. Using their IBMS Additions scheme, members can now access a pro-rata policy to cover them to the end of 2021 membership year and then through to the end of the 2022 membership year in December 2022.’
Despite the impact of external economic and market forces, the IBMS continues to work to support, promote and progress Biomedical Science for our members and we are committed to ensuring that membership is both valued and worthwhile.