Grey market products – are you covered?

When you take out any insurance policy it is vital to make sure that you are not invalidating your cover as a result of a genuine error. At Hamilton Fraser Cosmetic Insurance we aim to raise awareness of some of the inadvertent oversights that aesthetic practitioners sometimes make which may invalidate their insurance. One of these is grey market products – are you covered?

What is a grey market product?

Grey market products are legitimate products that have been manufactured by an approved company but have been sold outside authorised distribution methods. The main issue with using grey market products is the fact that the origin and distribution journey cannot be sufficiently traced. As a result there is no reliable information on the storage conditions of the products – some may be defective, damaged, compromised or even out of date, which poses a significant risk to a patient receiving treatments using these products.

Due to the growing popularity of cosmetic surgery it might seem tempting to bulk buy products at a discount from an unrecognised source. However, under no circumstance should these products be applied to patients; it is incredibly important to ensure that quality and standards are maintained at all times through not only using reputable manufacturers but also ensuring that you are purchasing them from an authorised distributor.

Legitimate products will be accompanied by a product sticker, which should be stuck onto a patient’s notes to keep clear and precise records.

As the age old saying goes, if a deal seems to be too good to be true, then it probably is!

Do we cover grey market products?

Emma Bracchi, Senior Claims Technician at Hamilton Fraser Cosmetic Insurance, states

“It is important to ensure that all products have been obtained from reputable and listed suppliers and at Hamilton Fraser we would be unable to cover any practitioner that performed cosmetic procedures using unauthorised products. For example, in the case of Botox all injections must contain botulinum toxin from a listed supplier and carry the CE mark. We would not be able to approve anything that isn’t and carry out careful checks when we add new fillers onto policies and our underwriting criteria.”

In the event of a claim, insurers will require proof of manufacturer and the batch code of the product; in some cases a purchase invoice may also be requested. If it transpires that the product is not purchased from a reputable supplier, the claim can be repudiated and the policy may even be cancelled as the policyholder has violated the policy conditions whereby it is necessary for all products to carry the CE mark. For this reason, it is extremely important to purchase from reputable suppliers and keep a full audit trail of your order history.

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