Archive for August 2009

There’s a lot more to Health Insurance than just Medical Costs!

So what’s left for the IFA’s to sell us then?

Mortgages – only if you’ve got 30% to put down!

Life Insurance – people are only looking to downsize covers!

Loans? You’ll be lucky!

PPI a product that should be selling well during the current economic times, is dead in the water due to bad publicity and PPI Claims farmers.

Health Insurance?

Hmm Maybe?

Health Insurance is in the limelight at the moment thanks to a bunch of redneck yanks using the NHS as an example of everything that is wrong with the State interfering with healthcare.
However, like it or not we will soon see a swing to the right in UK Government and with this will inevitably come cutbacks in State funded healthcare.
Many savvy Health Insurance compamies are well aware of this window of opportunity for selling ‘new’ health insurance products – expect to see ads on the TV very soon!

However as pointed out in a recent ezine article there is a lot more to wholistic personal insurance protection than just medical expenses cover…..

Five Ways to Protect Your Health and Wealth With Insurance Against Sickness

If you are unfortunate enough to suffer an illness, sickness or an accident at any time in your life, the consequences can be far reaching and affect your lifestyle and family for perhaps months or years into the future. Primarily you will require immediate treatment and care for the accident or illness. You will also need to consider how to meet your financial commitments during a period of hospitalisation and recovery. Furthermore it is wise to be recompensed for the unfortunate loss of bodily functions or if your contract a chronic or life critical illness.

Five ways to protect yourself and your family against sickness with Insurance:

1. Protect your personal health with Private Medical Insurance

Medical or Health Insurance is often called Private Health Insurance, Private Medical Insurance or PMI in the UK. This type of cover provides quicker access to specialist consultants, hospital treatment and rehabilitation services, and is designed to cover the costs of and arrange remedies for treatable short term or acute accident or sickness. It is however often restricted to hospitals owned by the particular insurance group. PMI is primarily bought to receive quicker treatment in nicer surroundings than is offered by the state system. Many policies allow you to top up cover should you require additional treatment. Levels of indemnity or cover limits are quite often determined by the price you pay as a premium. Policies are often sold with varying levels of cover under banners such as Silver, Gold and Platinum cover, and covers are extendable to other members of the immediate family.

Many UK employers provide what is known as Group Health Insurance plans as health care and medical cover for their employees, however this practice has declined since this became a taxable benefit. It is important to note that nearly all of these types of medical insurance policies exclude pre-existing conditions and are designed for treatable conditions only.

2. Protect your body with Personal Accident Insurance Cover

Personal Accident Insurance or PAI as it is known covers the loss of various body parts and pays out a lump sum designed to help ease your immediate suffering. Each limb or organ is priced and if you are unfortunate enough to lose for example an eye, you will receive the commensurate agreed benefit amount for the loss of the eye. Many policies also pay out a lump sum on death.

3. Protect your lifestyle and wealth with Personal Accident and Sickness Insurance

Often known as ASU, these products provide a lump sum of money each month if you are unfortunate enough to have an accident or be sick, whether hospitalised or not, allowing various expenses and costs of your life style to be protected while you are ill and recovering. These include income protection for your earnings, mortgage and loan protection for your debts and monthly outgoings and the more encompassing lifestyle insurance to protect all your finances, when you are sick. These type of policies pay out an agreed monthly benefit commensurate with the amount of cover required.

4. Protect your future with Critical Illness Insurance

Basic medical insurance is designed to cover short term illness only. Critical Illness or dreaded disease polices are a recent innovation in the UK Health Insurance market, having originated in South Africa. You are covered under this type of policy if you are struck by one of a number of specified diseases, many of which are terminal and for that reason critical illness insurance is often sold as a bolt on cover with a life insurance policy. Examples of the types of critical illness covered are Cancer, Heart Disease, Strokes, Parkinson’s, and Multiple Sclerosis, to name but a few.In the event of a claim, as with personal accident and sickness cover, you will receive a lump sum to help with the costs of the illness. When sold as part of a life policy the lump sum payable on death is often reduced if there has been an earlier critical illness claim.

5. Protect your family with a hospital bed with Health Cash plans

Health cash plans where you make regular payments into a specific medical fund which entitles you to claim if the need occurs. These cash plans have been available for some time in the UK and have been particularly popular in the areas of optometry and dentistry which are mainly privately funded outside of the NHS. Recent innovative more affordable health insurance hospital cash plans are becoming very popular, mainly because they allow access to all the hospital services that are available under a standard medical insurance policy except that you are not tied to one hospital provider of medical supplier to provide that service.

As with all Insurance products it is now very straightforward to shop around and compare prices on the Internet. Each individual will have varying cover needs and it is important to compare insurance covers as well as premium prices. It is very important with all health and personal protection insurance policies to read the small print and online documents to be sure that you understand the exclusions to each particular health care coverage.

For more information and advice on all aspects of medical insurance visit UK Health Insurance.

Health Insurance and Care Abroad – Get Travel Medical Insurance!

Reading a blog post today from my Health Insurance Blog Blogger friend, got me thinking…
“You don’t know how lucky you are” My parents used to say to me about going to places on exotic holidays…
Their parents would have likely said the same thing to them about the National Health Service – as kids they would have remembered their parents having to pay for the doctor on an ad hoc basis!

You never miss it until it’s gone, or more importantly you don’t notice it until you have to pay for it, and in the case of medical and health insurance at this holiday time of the year, it’s yet another necessary cost of holidaying abroad.

Watching the news and the debate going on in the States about the health care reforms proposed by the President, that are being made out by the Media to be dividing the Nation….you can’t help but laugh when you read that the right wingers are using the NHS system as an example of everything that could go wrong with a nationalised healthcare insurance scheme.
I can’t wait to see Barack Obama’s camp stand up and defend the NHS as the example of a health care system that all countries should be following!

Here’s some thoughts from the Health Insurance Blog

Barack Obama is the Good Samaritan for US Health Care

Most of us are used to some type of >health insurance in the the UK despite the existence of the ubiquitous free for all NHS.

In fact most UK citizens have purchased private medical insurance at some time or another!

Yep! surprising isn’t it! But because we all travel we are probably as well versed in the vagaries of the medical insurance section of our travel insurance policies as we are with our compulsory car insurance!

Since the 1970′s Brits have regularly bought medical insurance for their two week jaunt to the Costa del Sol and very many have had to claim and seen the workings of a foreign privatised health care system in action.

It is only then that we see the true worth of our NHS, when we have to participate in the bureaucracy of a claim when sick. We also get to see the standards of foreign care at the coal face!
Still, the good news about those sorts of health insurance covers found on a travel policy is that they will always repatriate you to good old Blighty and the awaiting NHS.

Most Brits like to visit our cousins in the United States.
This is when we come face to face with the fact that health care is not homogenous, especially when it comes to availability and more importantly – price!
Those travel insurance insurance policies suddenly treble in premium and all those exclusions to cover such as pre-existing medical conditions suddenly become real concerns….the same sort of concerns that face the average American daily!

Even with Insurance – you don’t wan’t to get ill in America. You especially don’t want to get ill for a chronic amount of time – all health insurance policies have strict limits of liability!
What if the money runs out?

In the Land of the Free there is no human safety net! (if you can’t pay)

Charles Darwin would have loved it!

Remember the parable of the Good Samaritan?

From the right wing noises of middle American rabble rousing grannies shouting on about abortions and illegal immigrants that we see every night on CBS and ABC news ….. I don’t think so! Try Luke!

Well you all go to church on Sunday dressed up in you finery, or is that just Hollywood agitprop to satisfy the lunatics of the Bible belt?

So step forward Barack Obama, determined to bring some social justice to the cities and peoples of America. The Good Samaritan who refused to walk on by on the issue of Health Care.

From the looks on the faces of those church going grannies and their militia sons who are dressed up for Afghanistan, and their kids dressed up like neo cons from The Matrix…..I just hope you’re wearing extra strong Kevlar Barack, because in some parts of your divided nation that’s the only healthcare you will need!

Recession still to bottom out as UK Insurance Industry Suffers

The pundits in the housing markets often seem to be singing from a different songsheet when it comes to what’s really happening in the UK economy. One minute we hear that repossessions have dropped in comparison to the first quarter of 2009, and that house prices are rising, but this is surely industry sales talk.
Fact of the matter is house prices haven’t reached anything like the levels needed to stimulate a National recovery and movement in the market. Mortgages are very difficult to come by and often require up to a thirty percent deposit. Those lucky ones on tracker mortgages are praying every month that the Bank of England doesn’t put up interest rates, otherwise many of them would be joining the ranks of the repossessed!
Credit in general is non-existent, particularly in the Car Finance sector, and the credit card companies with their extortionate rates are only interested in recuperating lending and tightening the national screw further!

Unemployment is rising and you only have to drive a short distance to see hundreds of towns that relied upon local industries that have gone to the wall, with the ranks of unemployed growing on a daily basis!

We as a Nation are in the proverbial big time, the good news is so is everybody else!

Insurance in the UK is suffering big time in many ways too. Households are cutting back on items seen as luxuries and Insurance is often perceived this way. In particular home insurance and personal finance insurances such as income protection have seen their markets decimated.
As no mortgages are being given away and the recent furore over miselling, mortgage protection insurance has virtually disappeared as a product to be replaced by a more encompassing lifestyle protection insurance policy.

Car insurance is in trouble too, despite the fact that it is compulsory. Many underwriters have been asking for rate rises for nearly two years but the prices have been artificially kept down by the levels of competition brought in by the Internet insurance comparison sites or aggregators as they are known. Many major players have made substantial losses in the Motor market over the last few years and many have had to cut deeply into their reserves. This cannot go on ad infinitum, and prices must harden. This will inevitably lead to many suppliers leaving the market.
As for the car scrappage scheme – did that generate demand? Yeah for a couple of thousand Hyundais built in India and imported into the UK – Sheer and utter madness!

New Cars rotting away unsold in the UK

Commercial Insurance is the one area which has obviously taken a massive reduction in premium volumes as businesses go to the wall and very few new startups enter the market.

One thing we can be sure of it’s going to be a long cold winter, a change of UK Government won’t make the slightest bit of difference and by the noises coming out on ABC and CBS News recently it is going to kick off Stateside long before it does here!