Tesco Personal Finance has linked up with Axa PPP healthcare to offer private medical insurance but Bupa has criticised the venture.
The new healthcare insurance products aim to combine value and simplicity with no medical questions for consumers under 76 but Bupa says this could lead to confusion.
Bupa Health Insurance commercial director Steve Flanagan says: “By not requesting a person’s medical history when they first buy cover, people may not fully understand what they are covered for until they claim, which for some will be too late.”
Consumers can build up a no claims discount of up to 55 per cent over four years and if they are between the ages of 18 and 75 they can buy the product over the phone or online without having to fill in a medical questionnaire.
Flanagan says: “Much has been made of the no claims discounts on offer but these could discourage some people from seeking early treatment which cannot be good. People should have access to high quality treatment as and when the need arises and not feel penalised or discouraged from seeking medical help.”
Tesco says its products will offer prices at up to 32 per cent lower than comparable providers.
Flanagan says: “People may pay less for Tesco health insurance but it could cost them dearly in the end.”
Tesco Personal Finance head of savings and investments Jeremy Sutton says: “Our customer research suggests that perceived high prices, complicated products and complex medical questions have been major stumbling blocks to buying health insurance. We aim to change that by offering products that are simple, good value and easy to buy. Our approach will open up the market to people who want the choice that health insurance offers.”
AXA PPP healthcare commercial director Fergus Craig says: “Tesco know their customers and we are delighted that they will be offering health insurance to people who may have never considered it before. We have worked hard with Tesco to develop an attractive offer.”