2017 Mutual Bonus declared
The VDS Board has approved the 2017 Mutual Bonus, at 7.1% of 2016 premium, up from 5.9% in 2015.
The VDS first introduced the Mutual Bonus scheme in the autumn of 2015, enabling the Society to make a payment to its members by way of a return of premium. We are very happy to report that a surplus was produced for 2016, and that a bonus will again be returned to members.
Following the approval of the Annual Report and Financial Statements by the Board, the amount of this Mutual Bonus has been declared at 7.1% of premiums paid for the 2016 year of cover, and will be distributed in the coming weeks. Commenting on this year’s Mutual Bonus, VDS Chief Executive Norman Macfarlane, said, ‘It is very gratifying to be able to report a return of premium for a second successive year. This return is a tangible benefit of the Society’s mutual status and further reinforces our core purpose which is to deliver the finest quality and value in the defence and protection of the veterinary profession.’
At 7.1% of the premium paid, the amount of Mutual Bonus is an increase on last year’s payment of 5.9%. The return amount reflects the Society’s prudent approach to the unpredictable nature of insurance business. As Mr Macfarlane went on to explain, ‘the VDS Board is able to make a return of premium in those years when there is a positive insurance result. This is achieved due to our prudent approach to accurately assessing risks as they present, and then setting premiums that fairly reflect those risks and consequences.’
The Mutual Bonus also provides VDS member practices in the UK with a way to support Vetlife, the independent charity that provides free and confidential support to the veterinary community. In the same way, VDS practices in the Republic of Ireland can support the Irish Veterinary Benevolent Fund, the charitable trust supporting veterinary professionals and their dependents. Where the amount of the Mutual Bonus is less than the administration costs of distributing the payment, which we have assessed to be £10, we will pool the money and donate it to Vetlife and the IVBF. However where we do make the payment, should VDS practices wish to donate their return of premium to these charities, they can simply destroy their cheque and the VDS will pass any amounts uncashed after six months to the charities.
The Mutual Bonus for the 2016 year of cover will be made during April 2017 and will be:
- calculated at 7.1% of the premium paid for the 2016 policy cover
- paid in the form of a cheque
- paid to the entity (e.g. practice, business) that paid the premium
- paid to those practices who had returned their completed proposal forms (either online or in hard copy) by 31 December 2016.