Groupama Healthcare, the private medical insurer, will offer companies the option of temporarily suspending cover if they are struggling to pay their premiums during the economic downturn.
If a hard-pressed business has little alternative other than to cease an existing PMI scheme, CoverBreak gives them the option of suspending their existing group cover for a 12-month period, with an option then to reinstate without the need for full medical underwriting.
Groupama claims that the development is the first of its kind in the PMI sector.
Alistair Sclare of Groupama: "It is not surprising that in an effort to cut costs, some small businesses might consider stopping their group PMI cover. This is a serious decision, as any pre-existing conditions would be excluded under a new policy. However, CoverBreak by Groupama Healthcare removes this restriction allowing businesses to take a 12-month break and come back, reinstating the policy with the same medical underwriting terms they had. All that will apply is a temporary waiting period for conditions that have occurred during the cover break."
Businesses wishing to take up the option have to pay a fee - around 15% of the overall premium - that allows them the option to reinstate their cover at the end of the 12-month period.
Private medical insurance: News update: 3 December 2009