This is because the Financial Conduct Authority is introducing new rules which are designed to drive consumer engagement.
The changes will affect not just private medical insurance brokers and insurers, but also those in many other general insurance markets. They do, though, affect only consumer policy renewals, not group schemes such as company medical insurance.
They will require renewal notices to include the previous premium for comparison. They will additionally require inclusion of a statement that encourages clients to “shop around” at renewal. In addition, at your fourth renewal you must be provided with a statement prescribed by the FCA.
This will read: “You have been with us a number of years. You may be able to get the insurance cover you want at a better price if you shop around.”
That statement is mandatory even if your broker has assessed the market for you during that four year period and for whatever reason your policy has stayed with the same insurer.
The FCA’s desire to increase competition and consumer engagement at renewal is understandable, especially in, say, the motor or home insurance markets, the sectors in which the regulator mainly carried out its research. There the use of “auto renewal” is widespread.
Naturally we at Chase Templeton we will always try to avoid renewing your policy without providing you with some advice, but if we can’t get in touch with you before your renewal this is when your policy will automatically renew. As a broker we aim to make sure cover is appropriate for your needs.
That means we review the market on the behalf of our clients, noting any claims, changes of circumstance and, of course, taking into account the impact of any pre-existing medical conditions. Our expert advisers shop around on behalf of our clients to find the best, most appropriate solution available on the market.
We also take the time to explain the key differences between policies, something which it may not be easy for a client to determine themselves when confronted with jargon-laden documents which typically run into tens of pages. That’s particularly important in the health insurance market where not only limits and exclusions vary between providers, but the availability of local hospitals and medical specialists also varies.
As one of the UK’s leading private medical insurance brokers we hope that you will find these changes useful. We deal with the health insurance market every day so we know that it is always worth at least looking into shopping around for your cover.
We also welcome the competition which we believe will be stimulated in the market. Competition is required to ensure the market functions properly and delivers good value to customers. That’s why we share the FCA’s desire to promote transparency and engagement on renewal,
We know that we must always work hard not just to win new clients, but retain their loyalty and that of some 40,000 individual and corporate customers who have put their trust in Chase Templeton. That means not just being able to offer highly competitive premiums year in year out, but ensuring we maintain excellence in customer service. Price is, of course, important but good value – the combination of price and service – is more important still.