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WPA says brokers need to go for PMI growth

Intermediaries need to put more effort into growing the private medical insurance market rather than just rebroking existing business, according to PMI insurer WPA.

Corporate business director Adrian Humphreys says its 100-strong direct salesforce brings in more than 90 per cent of its new small corporate virgin business.

He estimates that only 10 per cent of its intermediaries are bringing in such new flows, with brokers spending more time consolidating their businesses with other intermediaries due to regulatory pressures, providing artificial growth of their companies, or poaching business off others.

WPA, which has recently launched a new product called Enterprise Smart-Start aimed at new businesses, has connections with around 500 registered intermediaries, culled from more than 9,000 in 2002 to those willing to do WPA training to form a more definite relationship.

Humphreys says: “Poaching is not an efficient model. It just means that lots of people are running around chasing the same business without growing the industry at all.”

Healthcare Matters partner George Connelly says: “I agree with him that we should focus on growing the market rather than switching around. Direct salesforces can only sell one policy and have the advantage that the person they sell to does not have the luxury of comparison with other companies. Intermediaries have many insurers they can offer and it could be that the market is growing but not for WPA through intermediaries.”

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