View more on these topics

Smart move from WPA

WESTERN PROVIDENT ASSOCIATION

Enterprise Smart-Start

Type:
Group private medical insurance plan

Minimum-maximum ages:
18-65

Minimum premium:
£220.02 a year

Minimum group size:
Three

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

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

Discount:
45% in first two years

Options:
None

Commission:
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.

BROKER RATINGS:

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

Overall 7/10

Recommended

NU launches group life scheme for unapproved top up benefits

Norwich Union has announced it is launching a group life insurance scheme for unapproved top up benefits. The group life insurance scheme is aimed at employers who wish to provide life insurance benefits for their workforce, with the top up benefits scheme designed to make employers able to provide their workforce with lump sum cover […]

X-ray marks the Star spot

It&#39s the Pru, Jim, but not as we know it. Diary hears that a model of the Starship Enterprise caused Prudential&#39s IT division to run for cover a few weeks ago when it sparked off an over-sensitive X-ray machine. The Diary knows that unsolicited marketing material can get a bit annoying but calling in the […]

Abbey axed from L&G mortgage club panel

Legal & General&#39s mortgage club has dropped Abbey from its panel of lenders. PR manager Peter Timberlake says L&G regularly reviews the lenders on its mortgage panel and reveals that part of the reason that Abbey was dropped was because it did not work extensively with Legal & General on exclusive products and other services […]

Sofa sets course on charter flight

Former Britannic Retirement Solutions corporate development director Bob Bullivant is the new managing director of Sofa, replacing Brian Lawless who is moving at the end of this month to IFA The Jelf Group. Bullivant says he sees Sofa as the gold standard organisation for the professional adviser. He considers Sofa is one of the key […]

Newsletter

News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up

Comments

    Leave a comment