ALC Health reports 'record' IPMI growth

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International private medical insurance (IPMI) provider ALC Health has reported a 38% growth on gross written premiums for 2013 over the previous 12 months and has revealed its plans for 2014.

The provider said it has seen steady growth across its business over the past four years, with 2013 proving to be "another record year" for the company. In 2012, ALC Health reported 35% growth.

The company attributed the rise in sales to the launch of two new products last year, Prima Platinum and Prima Concept, and rising demand for IPMI.

Andrew Apps, director at ALC Health said: "Our top-end plan Platinum has had a real impact on our business. In this world which is having an economic down-turn, it did surprise us a little bit.

"The demand for IPMI is due to the fact state healthcare systems round the world are in trouble. We're lucky in this country to have the NHS whereas if you go to any other country in the world, you've got to put your hand in your pocket. Healthcare is very expensive and it's getting more expensive, so health insurance particularly for those moving abroad for the first time is so important."

Meanwhile, the insurer said it intends to enhance its products in June and is to launch a new internal administration system in the Spring.

Apps said: "In April we are going to be launching an new internal IT system completely built from the ground up for our customer/client service. This is a huge investment from our point of view and it's going to allow us to do a lot more online for our clients. We will be adding to the claims side, clients will be able to get their documents online and make changes online.

"From a broker point of view they will be able to access their commissions and their statement of the duration of the clients' policies online. It's really bringing IT to the forefront. This isn't new for UK players, they've been doing this for a number of years, but for the International market it has always been a little behind."

Meanwhile, when asked about the key trends in the IPMI market for 2014, Apps said more brokers should become involved with the market, which he predicted to grow this year.

He said: "From the broker's point of view, they need to be in [the IPMI market.] The health insurance market is growing. We are growing. I'm sure the other insurance companies and providers are also growing, and growing far quicker than the UK market which is having still difficult times. Here is an opportunity for brokers as people of all nationalities are looking to the UK for their international insurance cover."

"Brokers who are not doing IPMI cover are missing a trick. I know it's easy for many brokers to continue on the path they're doing, the comfort factor. I would say to brokers to work with IPMI providers, they can help you drive your business forward."

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