WPA has launched a multi-family private medical insurance (PMI) plan enabling policyholders to cover extended family members which may be particularly attractive to baby-boomers financially helping out their children and grandchildren.
WPA said that as the policy is in effect a 'group' scheme, premiums are significantly lower compared to individual policies.
Rod Bramston, managing director of WPA's private client business said: "Multi-Family is reflecting the wishes of parents and grandparents to provide benefits for their children and grandchildren without necessarily involving a cash handout."
Prices are determined like with car insurance, on where family members live and on their ages, by pooling together with the rest of their family.
The premium can be paid for by any individual and cover can be extended to any family member provided they are related by blood, marriage, civil partnership, cohabiting, adoption or fostering.
There are also no lower or upper age limits on the scheme meaning all family members can be covered. It is available for 2 or more family members living at different UK addresses.
The health insurer said this scheme would be particularly attractive to grandparents to pay for their family's healthcare.
A spokesperson for WPA also said the policy would create a wider client base for advisers and brokers through the engagement of extended families.
There has been growing evidence that the current cohort or retirees or baby boomers are providing assistance to the wider family on mortgage down payments, giving £2.8bn a year in cash to their grandchildren, funding one in four private school pupils and providing up to 35% of all childcare for families with working mothers.
Research conducted by Kevin Butler, economics adviser to WPA, said the total assets of grandparents place them as the biggest bank in the UK with over £1trn in assets.
Individuals within the family group can tailor their cover with three plan levels, the option to add 'Premium' Central London hospitals and 'Shared Responsibility' WPA's flagship co-payment option.
In addition, the plan offers switch, moratorium and full underwriting options and if the extended family has existing cover, WPA said it would consider enrolling the family group with simplified switch underwriting terms.
Bramston added: "This is about structuring family finances effectively. Where the Bank of Mum and Dad may be challenged, grandparents now play a vital role underlining a vital shift in family funding with potential tax advantages."
Commenting on the launch, Brian Walters, principal of health insurance broker Regency Health said: "This is an innovative offering from an insurer with an excellent reputation for service. It remains to be seen, though, whether the cost savings could match those produced by an independent broker diligently selecting policies from across the market.
"Certain insurers are more competitive for certain age profiles than others, so, when advising an extended family, it¹s likely that we would use a range of insurers to deliver the optimal combination of cost and benefits.
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