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Smart move from WPA


Enterprise Smart-Start

Group private medical insurance plan

Minimum-maximum ages:

Minimum premium:
£220.02 a year

Minimum group size:

Maximum benefit:
No maximum

Cover provided:
Inpatient and day patient cover for hospital treatment, specialists&#39 fees, diagnostic scans. Diagnostic tests, cancer care, outpatient treatment for cancer care, surgical procedures and pre-admission tests, parent and child cover, prostheses, out of pocket expense, post-hospital recovery bonus

25% of claim subject to a maximum of £250 a year

45% in first two years


Initial 10%,
renewal 10%

Tel: 0800 7830784

Western Provident Association&#39s Enterprise Smart-Start is a group private medical insurance plan aimed at small businesses with between three and 10 employees.

Gissings healthcare executive Sharon Carter thinks WPA has taken a unique stance with this product. She says: “We are not aware of any other UK insurer that offers this type of scheme. Enterprise Smart-Start would be a policy that I would recommended solely for small start-up businesses with a small budget that would like something put in place from the start. WPA may also find a market with companies who are dissatisfied with the increases in their current premiums and who are looking to down scale the level of cover in order to keep costs at an acceptable level.”

Carter likes the phased premium discount in the first five years as companies and intermediaries will not be concerned about initial low premiums being compensated for by rising premiums in the second year. She says: “Premiums are low when compared at face-value with other schemes designed for similar sized companies. However this does come at a cost in terms of benefits as only In-patient treatment is covered by the policy. My biggest concern with this product is the high potential for a client to buy it without being fully informed of the restrictions.”

On the downside, Carter thinks the branding of this product is weak. She says: “Its name does not bring to mind a high quality benefit and may be viewed as inferior by members. It appears to be quite a rigid scheme and doesn&#39t allow companies the flexibility of adapting their policy to suit their needs by either introducing or altering the amount of excess on the policy.”

Carter points out that companies are looking at their benefit packages for employees not only as a means to help members get back to work at the earliest opportunity but also as an incentive to attract potential new members of staff. She says: “The Enterprise Smart-Start scheme may struggle in this regard mainly due to the exclusion of the Out-Patient treatment. Employees may be unwilling to pay tax on a benefit which excludes out-patient treatment. A very small proportion of an insured population will use an in-patient only contract in any given year.”

Carter&#39s main concern is the amount of treatment not covered and she thinks that once the small businesses become established, WPA could be at risk of losing these clients to other products.


Suitability to Market: Average
Premium Rates: Good
Flexibility:: Poor
Adviser Remuneration: Average

Overall 7/10


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