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NU gets healthy

Norwich Union

Health Solutions

Type: Individual private medical insurance

Minimum-maximum ages: From birth -70

Minimum premium: No minimum

Maximum benefits: No overall maximum but limits will apply to some benefits

Cover provided: In-patient/day patient of acute conditions – hospital charges, specialist fees, diagnostic tests, radiotherapy/chemotherapy, home nursing, private ambulance, parent accommodation when child in hospital, hospice care, NHS cash benefit, maternity cash benefit, treatment for abnormal conditions of pregnancy and childbirth, investigation into the causes of infertility, oral surgical procedures, stress counseling and GP helplines, personal health manager, out-patient treatment of acute conditions – specialist consultations, diagnostic tests, radiotherapy/chemotherapy, specialist referred physiotherapy, osteopathy or chiropractic treatment, optional cover for complementary medicine and alternative therapies, optional dental and optical cover
Options: Reduced out-patient cover and selected benefit option, reduced and extended hospital lists
Excess: £500 or £1,000, six week option where benefits apply only if NHS treatment unavailable within six weeks

Discount: No claims discount of up to 60%, new policies start at 45%

Commission: Initial 25%, renewal 5%

Tel: 0845 3000649

Healthcare Solutions is a private medical insurance plan for individuals, enabling them to add or reduce cover when needed.

Highclere Financial Services partner Alan Lakey points out that this is a menu-based product that owes its design to similar protection plans recently introduced by Scottish Provident and Liverpool Victoria.

He says: “Norwich Union believes that this approach will invigorate a declining market and I believe that the product design will prove attractive.”

Lakey highlights the product’s no-claims discount and introductory special discount as appealing features. He adds: “The ability to switch from current provider on identical underwriting terms, if previously underwritten, is innovative.”

However, assessing the less attractive features of the plan Lakey says: “The available hospitals are not of the same calibre as those offered by many other providers.”

According to Lakey, Bupa and Standard Life appear to be the main competitors in the individual PMI market. He concludes: “This is a complex product which must be purchased via an adviser, otherwise the risk of mis-buying is excessive.”

BROKER RATINGS

Suitability to market: Good
Flexibility: Good
Adviser remuneration: Good

Overall 9/10

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