No matter what insurance policy you have, you should receive your renewal invite in a timely manner. Your insurance provider should leave you enough time to consider your Health Insurance Renewal in detail and not leave you with a last minute panic decision to make. Let’s face it, none of us like reviewing any of our insurance policies and when it comes to private medical insurance this seems to be even more of an issue.
If you have made claims in the past it does not mean that you cannot look elsewhere however, you do need to be aware of the terms and conditions attached to policies from alternative providers.
How can you save money on your Health Insurance Renewal without losing benefits?
As a general rule, your health insurance renewal offer will see an increase from the previous year’s premium. That is not to say this is the insurers “best price” and there may be room for negotiation. The increase in premium will include age increases, medical inflation and in most cases claims related adjustments.
Let’s start with doing a full health insurance comparison. This will enable you to make sure your renewal offer is fair and in line with the market. Make sure when you compare Health insurance policies, that it is on a like for like basis. Completing a full review of the market will then enable you to discuss any discount options with your insurer.
A really easy way to obtain a full market review for your Health Insurance renewal is to work with a specialist broker. We can make the process simple and easy and speak to the alternative providers for you.
Once the review is complete, you can then decide whether to remain with your current insurer or switch to an alternative provider.
Switching insurer at your Health Insurance Renewal.
The option to switch provider at your renewal will depend on a number of things. Most importantly you need to make sure that changing provider will not jeopardise your cover for pre-existing conditions. If you are offered a switch policy with new underwriting, make sure you know exactly what this means. Taking new underwriting may save you money but it is not always the right choice.
If you are considering a change of health insurance provider, make sure you check the following:
- Will the new insurer cover any treatment for pre-existing conditions?
- Does the new insurer offer cover for the same hospitals?
- Is the excess the same amount and payable on the same basis?
- Are the quotations provided on a like for like basis?
- What is the recommended insurers claim process like?
We always recommend that our clients let us know of any questions regarding a change of insurer. Making sure you choose the right policy at your health insurance renewal is essential to make sure you have the right cover when you need to make a claim. Double check any details you are not sure about and get confirmation in writing!
Policy combinations that can provide a substantial saving for business policies.
If you have had a business health insurance policy for a number of years, you may not realise how combining policies can make a saving. Yes, actually increasing your cover and benefits can save you money! The next time your company health insurance renewal is due, find out if you can make savings and increase your benefits at the same time.
Money saving options include:
- Keeping your Health Insurance and adding a cash plan.
- Running your Health Insurance with an Excess & Shortfall Insurance policy
Company health insurance policies that currently have a zero excess applied can increase their excess to reduce their premium. You can then add either a low cost cash plan or excess and shortfall policy. The excess can be claimed against either of these options. This is a win-win situation. Your business will see a saving in premium and your staff will receive additional benefits. No-one will be out of pocket as the excess can be claimed from the secondary policy.
Cash plans and Excess Insurance are both available to consumers on an individual basis. They do however carry terms and conditions relating to pre-existing conditions so may not work in the same cost saving way as on a company basis.
Take advantage of any new business incentives available
If you are happy to consider an alternative insurer at the renewal of your policy, you could bag a bargain! Although you are “renewing” your policy, if you switch to another insurer, they may be able to offer you a new business incentive. This is because you will be “new business” to them.
Offers change all the time but you may be able to find an insurer offering any number of special deals such as:
- One month free
- Two months free
- Free Dental and Optical cover
- Travel insurance free
- 10% Discount from your current insurer
When you work with a specialist health insurance broker they should highlight these incentives to you. If you can get a reduction in premium and additional benefits free of charge then why not go for it! Providing you have not jeopardised your cover then there is no reason why you should not make the most of these incentives.
Review the benefits that your Health Insurance provides at renewal.
As part of the renewal process, it would be a good idea for you to review the benefits you have in place. When you originally took out your policy, your circumstances may have been different. Health Insurance policies are an annual contract. If you want to make any changes to the benefits you have in place then you can only do so at renewal.
Insurance providers do not allow mid-term changes (other than members being added and removed from cover).
Private medical insurance policies are predominantly modular. By reviewing the benefits you have in place, you can make adjustments at your health insurance renewal to ensure you are not paying for benefits you will never use.
There are a number of changes you can consider in order to reduce the premiums you pay for your health insurance including:
- Increasing your excess
- Reducing or removing your out-patient limit
- Removing cover for mental health
- Taking off the therapies benefit
- Changing the hospital list you have access to
Let’s consider the excess level as a prime example. If your policy has a zero or £100 excess, increasing this to £250 or £500 would make a good saving. It is a simple change that can make a big difference. If you know that you can afford to pay a higher excess if you make a claim then why not increase the excess and save a little money in the process.
A quick word of warning should you decide to reduce your cover at your health insurance renewal. If you reduce your benefits and then decide you want to increase them again at a later stage, this would have to be approved by the underwriters. They will look at the policy usage to establish if there is a reason you want to increase your cover. If there is a claim in place that is likely to result in higher usage of the policy, it is unlikely they will agree to increasing those benefit options.
Have confidence in your broker when you look at your health insurance renewal
The team at SMP Healthcare have many year’s experience in the health insurance market. We have dealt with thousands of renewals between us and we know the process inside out. Our standard objective is to obtain the best value we can for our clients at the start of their policy and at each and every renewal.
We are paid a commission by the insurer at the inception or renewal of your policy but we still make our recommendations based on your needs and never the commission value. We want to work with clients for many years to come and therefore our advice to you at renewal is as important as our recommendation when you first buy your policy.
If you would like to speak to us about your forthcoming health insurance renewal, please get in touch.
Telephone: 01245 929129 / 0800 047 0127
We look forward to working with you soon.