Why buy PMI?
Sarah Burrows, Account Handler at County has recently became County’s private medical specialist. Keen to develop our private medical insurance (PMI) offering, here she explains what it covers and why you should consider having it either as an individual, family or part of a workplace scheme
I’ve been working with County for over 10 years and have spoken to many household insurance clients over that time. When it comes to discussing other policies, about 1 in 5 I speak to mention private medical cover as something they either have or would consider. This correlates with over 13% of UK consumers claiming to belong to private medical schemes or have private medical policies.
Private medical insurance, referred to as PMI, is not a necessity in the UK but is often afforded as a benefit in many employment contracts and to business owners. One of the main reasons for having cover is to get quicker access to treatment when you need it. The recent pandemic has lengthened wait times for many people; while the private medical sector hasn’t been fully immune from this they are still able to provide a quicker service compared to the National Health route.
Other benefits include private rooms when you need to stay in hospital and the ability to see a clinic or consultant of choice. As with any insurance, a key benefit is for the policy to be able to pay for large medical bills. With treatments in the sector on average costing £6,000, and a typical policy premium between 3 and four figures for individuals, it soon becomes a good way to manage your personal risk.
One member of staff at County, Oliver Burns, underwent a claim through his private medical insurer: “I was diagnosed with atrial fibrillation following a bad chest infection in February 2019. Sat in my GP’s surgery, I was told it would be some time to see a heart specialist for the condition at my age. When I called my health insurer, they offered to book me in to a specialist Saturday morning of that week. For the £100 excess, I was then treated, offered follow-up consultations and given confidence to get on with my life.”
For those who now have a pre-existing condition, it is still possible to get private health cover and insurers may choose to re-include the condition, depending on the way the policy is underwritten and the terms offered. While Ollie will now stay with that insurer for some years, if you haven’t had treatment before for an ongoing condition insurers can often reflect this in the premiums quoted.