Emerging trends from Health-on-Line indicate that those with health insurance policies are looking to make savings on their private medical insurance when times are hard, rather than cancelling altogether, suggesting that in times of hardship, health insurance is no longer a luxury, more a necessity.
Mike Dalby of Health-on-Line says "Private Medical Insurance has long been classified as luxury, an area of discretionary spend to be culled when times are hard. We are seeing evidence that health insurance customers are taking a longer term view on their private medical insurance and now consider it a necessity when it comes to protecting the welfare of their families. Our customer care advisors are seeing increasing requests for quotes and policies from policyholders who have healthcare cover in place with a different insurer but want to increase affordability by switching to another provider. We are seeing a couple of common scenarios emerge; clients who want us to quote on the same basis as their existing insurance to see if we can offer the same level of cover but at a reduced cost and; clients who want to maintain their cover but are considering scaling it back in order to make savings. It’s clear that the first step for clients is to reduce the cost of their health insurance, rather than ditch it altogether.
“For those that have had health insurance in place for some time, the motivation to maintain it through harder times is two-fold. Should they decide to cancel their health insurance altogether then they go back to square one in terms of cover for any conditions that have emerged over the period of holding their private medical insurance.
“Secondly, they risk losing the no claims discount they may have built up. When it comes to reinstating their health insurance, they will have lost the accumulated benefits associated with holding private medical insurance over a period of time.
“There is no doubt that we are seeing health insurance for some, firmly placed on the ‘must-have list’ rather than household’s ‘wish-list’. It’s just that individuals are now more inclined to look at how they can maintain close to the same product but at a reduced cost."