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IFAs slam PruHealth ‘bribe’

PruHealth has been criticised by advisers for offering a rew-ard scheme for intermedi- aries to sell its private medical insurance.

The Broker Vitality scheme, which mirrors PruHealth’s consumer reward scheme, gives points to brokers who request quotes, product training, joint marketing programmes or place their own company sch-eme with the firm.

Conversions of quotes req-uested to business placed are also rewarded.

IFAs believe providers offering these schemes are simply “bribing” advisers into putting business their way which they would get anyway if their products are strong enough.

Broker Vitality rewards inc-lude support with lead generation, training, advertising and marketing. Also on offer are discounted rates to Pru’s Vitality partners, which include Holmes Place and Cannons health clubs and spas.

Between 80-90 per cent of PruHealth’s business is written through intermediaries and the firm says consumer concerns about commission structures prompted this alternative method of reward.

But advisers selling PMI say they would rather see resources spent on improving the product than on quirky promo- tional tactics.

Anand Associates financial architect James Brooke says: “I am fed up with product pro-viders thinking they can bribe IFAs with these points mean prizes marketing ploys.

“I would rather see their time and money being spent improving the products themselves. If the best product for the client happens to be a Pru product, then so be it but, if not, these rewards make no difference.”

Pru sales director David Priestley says: “This programme rewards all our brokers, whe-ther they place one policy or 100 policies with us.

“We feel that this is more in the spirit of regulation – more transparent. We will continue to focus on offering value to the customer although now we can properly reward our intermediaries, through whom the majority of business is placed.”

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