Whether it's a tin of beans or a new car, we all tend to shop around for the best deal. Yet when it comes to insurance many of us seem to desert our canniness, be overcome by inertia and accept a renewal quote without checking out the rest of the market.
The point was made by the Daily Mail last weekend when it exposed how insurers were failing to deliver best value to their private medical insurance policyholders. The newspaper reported how one couple, who had held the same policy for some 30 years, were asked for a £12,000 renewal premium. When their daughter investigated the wider market she found a “similar deal” at half the cost – offered by their existing insurer!
We should caveat that it is not entirely clear from the article how fair such a bald price comparison is, given much later in the story it transpires that the more expensive policy covered pre-existing medical conditions, whilst the other, apparently cheap private health insurance quote, did not.
Nonetheless the core premise of the article was sound: it pays to shop around. However, finding the best deal may be easier said than done given that there are so many variables at work, including your age, location and health, and the fact there are many health insurers offering many different policies.
Whilst you can go compare prices on the internet, finding the cover that best suits your particular circumstances may be more problematic. Take one simple example. Different insurers offer different hospital lists and this might impact accessibility to specialist medical facilities in your locality. And what if you have a particular concern because of your family medical history? You’ll want to make sure the policy you choose addresses that concern.
You’d think renewing would be straightforward but, as the Mail points out, your existing insurer may not necessarily point you towards the most affordable or effective cover, relying instead on your loyalty. Loyalty grows over years and here’s the rub, so do premiums because, of course, the older we get, the more prone to illnesses and ailments we are.
If you’ve previously claimed on your policy you might too think that it’s going to be difficult or more expensive to switch insurer. Whilst it can be an issue it’s not necessarily one that can’t be overcome, but having the confidence to do so may be another matter.
So, what to do? Well this really is where the value of a specialist private medical insurance broker becomes apparent. A good broker won’t simply pass on a renewal quote but review your policy as its current term ends and look not just at your existing insurer, but what the whole market has to offer you.
Health insurance brokers look not just at price – though that is of course a key factor – but what’s important to you. As an example a Chase Templeton client, in her 80s, who had twice suffered from breast cancer wanted to maintain what she understandably considered to be “vitally important” cancer cover. The trouble was, naturally, that her claims meant her premiums had significantly increased and become, in her words, “too costly.”
So, how did that circle get squared? Our adviser looked at both her insurance claim history, current provider and the wider market. She then recommended sticking with the same insurer but reconfiguring cover so that it retained that all important oncological care whilst dispensing with benefits which were less important to the client.
The adviser’s market knowledge and expertise resulted in a 60 percent reduction in the client’s renewal premium whilst maintaining her cancer cover. Try doing that armed only with a keyboard and Google!
There’s nothing more important than your health so if you’d like to receive free, impartial and no-obligation advice on the best private medical insurance solution for you or your family, then why not call 0800 018 3633 and speak to one of our expert advisors? You’ve nothing to lose but a few minutes of your time!