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Your Guide To Pharmacy Insurance in The UK

By Maria Hickey on June 24th, 2022

Getting the right insurance is important for any business but when it comes to pharmacy insurance, it may be more complicated than you imagine. This is because pharmacies often store a vast range of sensitive stock as well as potentially dangerous drugs.

So, not only do pharmacies have a high risk of break-ins, they risk losing stock if cold storage breaks down or their other tech is otherwise impacted. So let’s check out the facts about pharmacy insurance to find out whether your cover is adequate for your needs.

What is pharmacy insurance?

Pharmacy insurance covers the unique demands of the pharmacy so is essential for high street pharmacies as well as research facilities that have sophisticated storage equipment and technology. However, for the purposes of this article we are focusing solely on pharmacy shops that make up the landscape of any small town or high street.

What might pharmacy insurance cover?

Pharmacy insurance requires many different types of insurance policy.

Retail insurance

All pharmacies operate as a retail business; and need retail insurance to protect stock as well as fixtures and fittings such as shop windows.

Criminals often target pharmacies. If your pharmacy suffers a break-in, you will have to repair damages and this can mean high costs. Retail insurance for pharmacies can include cover for refrigerated drugs, drug theft and shop window cover.

Professional indemnity insurance

It is important to protect yourself with professional indemnity cover because if you offer medical advice or medication, which is later found to have caused harm, you could find that you could be liable for compensation costs. In general, professional indemnity insurance can offer cover limits up to £1,000,000.

If you are a compounding pharmacy you will need compounding pharmacy insurance as added protection. Because a compounding pharmacy makes medical formulations on the premises in accordance with a doctor’s instructions, it does increase the risk of making mistakes.

Compounding pharmacies can be a fantastic option for patients as allergies and dietary restrictions can be catered for. However, it can increase the risk of human error, if the compounding pharmacist or doctor makes a mistake in prescriptions.

Professional indemnity insurance provides your pharmacy technicians with cover, so if they make a mistake in the course of their work or somebody attempts to sue, you can be confident that you are not liable to pay for damages.

It is important to have this insurance in place if your have a locum technician and if you trust your technicians to offer advice to customers or to compound medications unsupervised. In general, to insure a locum technician they will need to a relevant NVQ level 3 qualification, or similar.

Deterioration of stock insurance

Deterioration of stock insurance covers your sensitive stock that needs to be maintained at a cold temperature such as medication stored in refrigeration units.  If the power supply is disrupted or your equipment fails, your supplies will be ruined and worthless.

Not all pharmacists need deterioration of stock insurance. However, general insurance is unlikely to cover the true value of specialist chemicals and medication. This means it makes sense to protect your supplies with pharmacy insurance that includes deterioration of stock insurance as part of your cover.

Property Insurance

Many pharmacists own their premises and are property owners. In addition, many of these rent out additional properties such as an upstairs flat above the shop. It is very important that you don’t neglect this part of your business and leave your property under insured. Your shop, and any associated rental properties need to be covered with the right level of property insurance. Many pharmacists overlook this key part of their business, yet when it comes to assets, the property is usually the most valuable part of the business. If you lease the property your business operates from, double check who is responsible for the building’s insurance. The landlord may cover this, but in some cases the responsibility lies with you.

Why Do I Need Pharmacy Insurance in the UK?

You need pharmacy insurance in the UK in order to carry out your business safely.  This profession is extremely specialised and unlike other medical professionals, there is a strong retail component to your business. Pharmacy insurance is the only type of insurance to cover all risks including shop keeping, property ownership, medical advice and professional indemnity, the dispensation of drugs and the storage of potentially dangerous substances in a temperature controlled environment.

Pharmacies are often targeted by criminals searching for drugs, so are at a high risk of break-ins and attacks.

How Can I Save On My Pharmacy Insurance?

The easiest way to save on your pharmacy cover is to shop around to find the right deal for you. There are specialist pharmacy insurance companies that can advise you on everything that you need to fully protect your business, so these may be a good option.

Some pharmacy insurance companies offer product packages that are tailor made to the pharmacy industry. These types of company will provide all your insurance cover, including your cover for your van if you have one and cover for transportation of medication as well as all the clauses, which any pharmacy business needs.

Pharmacy insurance requires a combination of many different types of insurance products. Buying these individually will be time consuming and expensive so it always makes sense to buy a package from a specialist insurance broker like Brisco Business.


Pharmacy insurance is complicated because it requires so many different types of cover. To ensure that your business is safe it is important to make sure you have not neglected any aspect of your cover or you may find that your livelihood could be derailed by an unforeseen event.

With the growing reliance on pharmacists as the first call for medical advice in the UK, you cannot afford to ignore your insurance cover.

Many people rely on your advice and guidance on medical matters, use your shop for buying everything from make up to medication and obtain their prescriptions from your shop making you a bridge between the doctor and patient.

This means that your pharmacy shop is a crucially important part of UK health provision, so it is important to your customers as well as your business that you are protected. Looking for business insurance quotes online? Let Brisco help you compare and choose the best policy for your business.

Maria Hickey

For more than 20 years, Maria has worked in the insurance sector and has extensive underwriting and customer service expertise. Maria is an experienced Senior Underwriter with a particular specialism for shop, office and surgery related insurance.

All articles by Maria Hickey

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