In this article we will discuss in a little more detail the process that sits behind our recommendation of private medical insurance (PMI) plans for our clients.
In part one we ran through the underlying issue of why the price of a PMI plan is an important factor but more importantly some of the key issues around how the benefits of your cover, whether a new plan or if you are switching between insurers, are arrived at and the massive advantages of the more flexible modular products now provided by many insurers.
Which insurer should we choose for you?
This decision is of course based on a number of factors, not least of which will be pricing and benefits (usually based on the perceived value of benefits available within the budget a client has) however it is also important to consider what an insurer offers over and above price or product and the positive characteristics they have as a business or product provider that might make them more or less appropriate for certain clients.
in general terms:
Service and support
A vital starting point for any insurer’s proposition. A robust and streamlined claims assessment and payment system is absolutely essential and a major factor when recommending a PMI insurer.
there can be advantages of plans which give clients multiple options to choose from to create the right plan for them. Generally the newer products launched into the market have more capability of being flexible.
cost isn’t always the main driver. It should be quality driven too and give value for money. If too much focus is given to pure cost you could compromise on the cover you get.
different insurers operate with different attitudes to risk. Some individual insurers rate their individual switch policies based on number and date of recent claims whilst others simply seek to ensure nothing has been claimed in the last 12 months. Some insurers would offer more restriction than others in terms of excluding previous conditions. With currently insured clients, previous claims and medical history are an important area that needs to be covered off before a final recommendation can be made.
some insurers are more competitive or open to certain kinds of business e.g. professional sports people or civil servants.
over time we all gain a subjective view of who we like to deal with based on personal experience, recommendations (or complaints) or even from media reporting. Clients can have a preference as to which insurer they will consider.
there are one or two insurers who specialize in working with older clients, for example one recently raised their maximum age for switching clients from 65 to 70.
not every insurer operates in all sectors, so most advisers will have a panel or list of different insurers that suit individuals, small corporate and large group clients.
This overview shows there is a myriad of different factors involved when considering which insurer to place a client with and this choice will also clearly change over time as the client’s age and their life, or work situation alters.
PMI is a rewarding plan to have in place for many reasons and importantly the insurers continually engage with us and our clients to enable us to offer the exact right proposition regardless of your situation.
For a free market review and a discussion of all of your private medical insurance needs please contact Premier Choice and we will be pleased to be of assistance.