Care Case Studies

Managing complex risks at a homeless hostel/shelter.

Case Study: Homeless/Shelter


The policyholder is a homeless hostel / shelter catering for a wide variety of vulnerable service users, including young people and adults with mental difficulties or substance abuse problems.

The issues

There were many different aspects to the services offered by this policyholder:

  • Bed spaces for young people aged 16-25 who are homeless. This includes supported living where staff will be on hand to assist with budgeting, shopping, benefits, and giving advice on acquiring more stable accommodation.
  • Emergency accommodation for single homeless men and women aged 16+.
  • Accommodation for adults who are undergoing treatment for drug/substance misuse.
  • Accommodation for single homeless women 16+ who have additional support needs such as mild learning or mental difficulties, or offender re-settlement.
  • A supported living programme. This is aimed at service users who have difficulty sustaining a normal tenancy agreement due to alcohol and/or drug issues which can often lead to rent arrears, chaotic living conditions and neighbourhood disputes.
  • Finally, probably the most complex of all, is the ’wet hostel’. This provides accommodation and support for women aged 16+ who choose to continue to drink. The aim is to help service users to manage their situation while encouraging withdrawal from alcohol. The women often have multiple needs and require wide-ranging practical support from assisting with shopping, cooking, and budgeting to improving life skills and expanding their social networks.

The solution

Markel were approached to underwrite this risk when the existing insurer withdrew from the market. While there were some challenges to overcome in assessing and maintaining an appropriate risk management programme, we worked in partnership with our specialist care and health consultancy partner, Janjer Ltd, to address these. We were also able to provide specialist insurance cover that catered for the varied, complex and high risk scenarios this organisation faced.

Our Insurer Partners Markel International were able to accommodate this risk.