Our guide to buying health insurance

/Guide to buying health insurance
Guide to buying health insurance 2017-03-02T11:35:18+00:00
  1. Like most other financial products, private medical insurance, income protection, critical illness cover and life insurance can be extremely complex.
  2. Not all conditions, illnesses or diseases are covered by these policies. Even if you find that your particular policy will cover you for your particular condition, you may find yourself unable to claim because of a pre-existing condition you had or, even worse, you find that your policy is invalid because of your failure to disclose previous illnesses.
  3. Although you may feel you have disclosed everything, and the policy you are taking out seems to cover what you are looking for, due to the jargon used in such policies it may be difficult to understand at the outset all the implications of the policy.
  4. Acting upon the advice provided by staff from the individual providers may not always be wise as, inevitably, they will only be promoting their own products to the detriment of other providers. It is a highly competitive market.
  5. There are many comparison sites on the Internet which most of us use from time to time. However, purchasing health insurance is not like comparing the merits of the latest vacuum cleaner! Once you have committed to an insurance product you may pay many hundreds if not thousands of pounds over a long period of time before you find out (usually when you are trying to make a claim) that it is not the right product for you. As is often said: you only really discover the quality and suitability of your insurance when you come to make a claim.
  6. Often on comparison sites the cheapest critical illness cover is usually ‘renewable’ which means it will go up in price every five years and the older you get the more steep the price increases will be. What was affordable for you to start with may be completely unaffordable some years down the line. You will have effectively wasted many years’ premiums if you cannot maintain the policy and would have been best advised going for a guaranteed ‘level’ rate from the outset. However, the kind of policy you have chosen will usually not be clear unless you read all the small print – which most people don’t!
  7. The cost of most kinds of insurance is high and, although as with most things, we all like to get a bargain, with health insurance if you opt for cheap you may just be throwing your money down the drain. Having said that, the most expensive may not be the best either.
  8. If you take advice from an independent insurance intermediary such as Mosaic Health, not only do they have to provide you with best advice but they are also regulated by the FSA. They should guide you through the maze of offers to get the right cover to suit your own particular needs and budget.
  9. Once you take out a policy, this shouldn’t be the end of the story for any reputable insurance intermediary. You can expect ongoing customer service and advice if you have any problems or questions. Also, in the case of private medical insurance, at your policy renewal date you can expect a market review of the available alternatives if you are unhappy with your current provider.