§ Mr. Geoffrey Finsberg
asked the Lord President of the Council what are the details of the arrangements at present in force to provide insurance cover for right 462W honourable and honourable Members who travel away from Westminster and also outside Great Britain on the business of the House; and what are the respective benefits in relation to death, injury, disablement, medical fees, treatment and loss of or damage to personal effects, money and luggage of those so travelling.
§ Mr. Foot
Below is the text of a memorandum on personal accident insurance prepared by the Accountant. The arrangements for insurance do not cover personal effects.
House of Commons.
Personal Accident Insurance of Members Travelling on the Business of the House
Arrangements have been made for a personal accident policy, the premiums for which will be met from Public Funds to cover the risk of death or injury on any day on which a Member is travelling away from the Palace of Westminster on the business of the House, in the United Kingdom or abroad. The business of the House for this purpose means service on a Parliamentary Committee or delegation which has been set up directly by the House or Committee of Selection, or Mr. Speaker, or by the Government. The policy will not cover flights in private or private charter aircraft, nor flights in prototype aircraft or test flights unless prior arrangements are made.
The period of insurance covers any day on which you are away on such Parliamentary business. Although the premium is paid from Public Funds, any claims arising must be preferred by the insured person, his executors or administrators who, similarly, must prefer any legal action which may be undertaken against the Insurers.
The benefits provided by the policy (as now amended) with effect from 22nd April 1975, are as follows:
- Death—a lump sum of £25,000.
- Permanent total loss of sight of both eyes;
- or loss of one or two limbs;
- or permanent total loss of sight eye and loss of one limb—a lump £25,000.
Temporary total disablement—£100 per week for so long as such disablement continues but not exceeding altogether 104 consecutive weeks for any single disablement. In addition medical expenses will be paid up to but not exceeding 15 per cent. of the total amount of any claim admitted for temporary total disablement.
The maximum sum insured under the House of Commons Insurance policy for any one aeroplane is £400,000. If therefore, more than 16 Members of the House of Commons intend 463W to travel on one aircraft it will be essential for the officer responsible for arranging the journey to notify the Fees Office, before the commencement of the journey, in order that additional cover can be obtained. It will also be necessary for the Fees Office to be notified of any proposed flights in helicopters since such flights have to be notified to the underwriters, who will require an additional premium to provide cover for this particular form of travel.
In the event of illness not arising from accidents and therefore not covered by the above insurance arrangements Members will wish to be aware of the following:
- (i) Should any Member require urgent medical or dental treatment whilst travelling abroad on the business of the House the local Diplomatic Service Mission should be asked to advise about recommended practitioners.
- (ii) Members are asked to pay their own medical or dental bills and on return to the House receipted bills should be forwarded to the Fees Office. Members will be reimbursed the costs of treatment and medical facilities normally provided by the U.K. National Health Service.
2nd May 1975.