Health Insurance and the Battle of the Brands

When I first dipped my toe into the world of healthcare insurance in 2004, there were a host of options for my clients. There were a number of brands in the UK all trying to win as much business as they could.

Historical Health Insurance brands

Of course BUPA and AXA Health were still right up there as the leaders in the sector but what were the alternative options? At that time there were a number of players in the market including:

  • BCWA
  • Clinicare
  • First Assist
  • Groupama
  • Norwich Union (now Aviva)
  • PHC
  • Standard Life
  • WPA

It was easy for a broker to provide clients with some great options.  These insurers would provide both new business and renewal options for our clients.

Over recent years the options have reduced with the larger players buying out the smaller independent providers. This has resulted in the options shrinking dramatically for clients. These days finding great private medical insurance can take a little more time and creativity.

If I think back to all of the providers and plans, I think the Clinicare Carte Blanche plan had to be one of the best policies available. Clients on this plan were definitely not on a budget. The premiums for the Carte Blanche plan were not cheap. The policy offered therapies with no GP referral required and even an element of cover towards private maternity for normal delivery and a host of additional “extra’s”.

How people associate Health Insurance cover with specific brands?

Even with the availability of the Clinicare Carte Blanche policy,  we would still face a much used phrase.  “It’s ok, we don’t need you to look at our policy because we have BUPA”. This illustrates that even if the Clinicare policy with all of its extra’s and add-ons were competitive price wise, we still had the battle of the brands awareness coming in to play.

Health insurance providers in today’s marketplace

Even today with the reduced options, BUPA and AXA Health still hold the market share with AVIVA and VitalityHealth also becoming big players in the UK health insurance sector but what about the lesser known providers such as General and Medical and Freedom Health Insurance?

As a specialist broker we do look at the market for our clients but still come up against the “I’ve never heard of them” discussion.  When the lesser known brands come up as the most competitive we really do encourage people to consider the less well known insurers.

Cheapest is not always best! Our recommendations are based on what you want from our initial conversation. If lesser known brands offer you or your business the best option for renewal we would urge you to consider giving them a chance.

We are an independent specialist private medical insurance broker and do not charge any fees for our service. If you would like help to find the insurance policy that fits both your requirements and budget then please get in touch.

Telephone 01245 929129 or email