PMI customers have more services available than ever before but that doesn’t mean they are not all valuable, says WPA
A traditional, mis-founded complaint about PMI is that not every option on a policy seems useful, with some appearing to be vague, or not applicable to policyholders.
The evolution of health insurance over the past decade has seen a myriad of value-added services brought in and bolted on to traditional health insurance policies. As a result, part of the confusion permeating this myth may lie in the fact customers do not always understand the benefits on offer to them, as they may not leap out as immediately relevant on an individual basis.
Paul Roberts, lead consultant at specialist intermediary IHC, explains: "It's unfair to label PMI policies as vague. The truth is there are tens of thousands of different styles of policies on offer across a range of different types of insurers that have been set up to serve a variety of businesses and individuals of all ages and wealth. These policies must be able to support customers in their time of need."
Getting more tangible
Customers today have much more available in terms of services, and better choice about where and with whom to seek treatment than ever before. This includes tangible benefits such as optical and dental cover, health screening, remote GP and health & wellbeing lines often offered at a cost to the insurer rather than to the customer.
Richard Tutill, business development manager at WPA, says: "A decade ago, health insurance was there when needed, while today the many tangible benefits on offer make it useable on a regular basis for everyday health needs."
WPA's policies provide a range of bolt-on options, with its popular Premier policy offering a variety of levels within each option. This allows policies to be more tailored than they ever have been before - and its offering is continuing to evolve.
Choice is key
Perhaps more importantly, it is the prospect of consultant choice, which offers the policyholder more control about who to see, when and where, that is most appealing in modern policies.
For example, some health insurers limit consultant choice or where you can be treated. Options that are not always convenient for the customer.
WPA believes the customer should also be in control of their own health choices. Indeed, Tutill believes this choice is vital in tailoring the best plans for individuals.
"Access to the best hospital for diagnosis or treatment of your condition should be a clinical choice, not a commercial decision driven by a health insurer," he explains.
By focusing on services that meaningfully and measurably improve healthcare, WPA is also trying to ensure its customers remain informed to ensure policies are personalised as much as they can be.
PMI is no longer only about an annual renewal process because hand in hand with the increased flexibility comes a real need for customer control and understanding of a policy.
This myth-busting article is one of a series of 10 addressing common myths around PMI. Access the full list
This article was funded by WPA