Wayne Pontin is a man on a mission - to broaden the appeal of the AMII to larger brokers while keeping hold of the smaller ones. Nicola Culley talks to the group's new head about his plans.
“Everything is inexplicably linked to the economy of the UK and the NHS reforms,” he said. “You have to have a global – or at least a UK plc – look at healthcare. You cannot look at things in isolation. Private and public sectors cannot be separated.
“Medical inflation has been running at eight or nine per cent above RPI. It is unsustainable. We are going to have to work with providers to look at NHS reforms and change this marketplace. We have to pay for dental treatment now.
“The reform is already happening. The country cannot afford to deliver free healthcare.”
Pontin explained that his group would be contributing to the Competition Commission’s investigation into medical services, dubbing the Commission’s report as “fundamental to the future of the industry”.
Pontin added that AMII would also be fully supporting greater transparency and better methods of delivering healthcare, consisting of public care with private cover to top up. Papers are also planned to be sent to members to generate opinion.
He added: “The number of insured is going down. We had a situation about three years ago where just 11% of the population was covered with PMI.
“It has now decreased to 10% but the income generated is greater. It can only mean that premiums have been thrown against it.”
Product innovation is also on his mind. Pontin said while gender would remove price as a factor, other avenues may be explored. He suggested innovation could be defined in future by prevention and well-being as opposed to insurance against care and alleviation. But he stressed this would only emerge after the current state of flux, including gender directive and healthcare reform, had settled down.
AMII will also continue working with the CII to raise industry professionalism. Pontin said the only way for the body to achieve a higher standard itself was to introduce minimum requirements for membership. He said: “This may mean the AMII and CII healthcare insurance IF7 exam. But we also must consider those requirements and ensure it is achievable for brokers.
“It could be the regulator does it for us in the next five years or so anyway. There is the potential the FCA will do that.”
But Pontin acknowledged that despite all these efforts, AMII still had a long way to go to command significant attention from the industry. And with the body changing hands every two years, consistency was a problem.
He has however accepted that many of his visions for AMII will not be realised in his two-year tenure– instead his aim will be to build a strong starting point for his successor.
CV: Wayne Pontin
Wayne Pontin started his career with Bupa business development in the late 70s moving later into senior sales management.
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