The big 5
We thought it would be a great idea to put together 5 really important questions to ask your broker before you take out medical insurance. We hope these 5 really useful questions help you in making those decisions.
Before you renew your health insurance, ask your broker these 5 questions
1 - I would like switch my cover without compromise, what can I do?
A good broker will try and find you the best deals without compromising on cover. However depending on medical history it may be that he or she tells you upfront what you could expect when switching your cover. Sometimes you may not be able to switch, and that is normally based on your personal medical history.
Heart, cancer and psychiatric treatment may often be a problem, however if you've seen the doctor or consultant in the last year your broker should be able to guide you easily. There are some great insurance companies out there like The Exeter who offer a two year waiting period on pre-existing conditions that are not heart, cancer, stroke, diabetes or joint replacement related. Be careful before making the switch.
2 - I do not want my premium to increase like it has this year, what should I do?
Depending on your claims in the past, there are options to move you to alternative companies such as Friendly societies or mutually funded health insurers. Mutually funded companies spread the risk across the society as a whole, and do not penalise you directly. This in turn keeps premiums at bay, but they can rise if the society has a bad year, they will also go up with the normal insurance premium tax, inflation and age. Examples of well-known mutual companies are The Exeter, WPA and CS Healthcare. There some commercial companies that do not operate with a no-claims discount or a claims rating cap, and can also be beneficial when choosing an insurer.
3 - My friend is on a group scheme, if I join the group scheme will that make my premiums cheaper?
This is a common misconception; no broker should be encouraging you to join a group scheme unless you work for the company or are professionally associated, by that we mean that you are officially on the companies books. By pretending that you work for the company when you do not is not allowed, as the insurance company is taking your word for it and this could be deemed as fraudulent. You run the risk of having future claims declined.
4 - Will my cover be like for like if I change insurance companies?
Cover can differ from one insurer to another; however the most important areas to look at are outpatient cover, cancer cover, hospital lists and your underwriting, make sure these are the same or in some cases better. Most of our clients want an easy claims process, and therefore you need to make sure that you have been underwritten on the same basis as before, unless you are happy to reduce your premium and compromise on these areas. A good broker will really try and match all of the benefits.
5 - I have never heard of the company you are promoting? How can I trust them?
As a broker we have our reputation to uphold. If you are truly uncertain about a specific company or the deal looks too good to be true, then you can find out more information about who the underwriters or reinsurers are. This will give you further peace of mind on who you may be insured with and what you can expect when it comes to making a claim. A good place to start is the independent Which report, which often does surveys on various health insurer and helps guide clients.
Other common questions include
What are the exclusions?
What level of cover is right, considering my circumstances?
Is there a compulsory or voluntary excess?
Does this policy build up a no-claims discount?
Should I go for a moratorium, a fully-underwritten policy or switch my cover?
Have you checked the whole of the market before recommending this to me?
We trust that this information has been of value to you.