Friday, 7 June 2019

GDPR ... aaaarrrgggghhh

Not going to name names (more than my job is worth etc) but two insurers have gotten my ire over GDPR this week.

One insisting on having a password protected spreadsheet for me to notify them of a scheme leaver - one name (we both hold on our files) with a leave date - about five e-mails in total to resolve thus far and the work is still no confirmed as done yet. Honestly what is the point of sending a password protected e-mail to an address and then two minutes later the password to the same address - in whose mind is that secure. If the account is attacked/hacked (how ?) or re-directed then surely both mails go to the wrong person - I call this 'insurer logic' or rather 'total lack of logic'.

Then earlier in the week one insurer refused to give me client info over the phone as my master broker password had expired - not a problem I said, when did it change (so I could track down the e-mail - of course then sent the new one by e-mail) - September 2018 I was told - they did not like me pointing out that they had given me data dozens of times using the wrong password in the interceding 9 months - that'st echnically NINE MONTHS of GDPR breaching by the insurer under their own rules. This of course included two breaches in the previous week for the same case that raised this issue in the last call.

Apparently it turns out it was my fault for not receiving the e-mail - like I said insurer logic.

Unfortunately in the general paranoia and madness that is GDPR to insurers wielding the GDPR hammer every job looks like a nail. Until then ... da fortitudinem (look it up).

Phil Knight

Dateline - Yeadon June 2019

Thursday, 6 June 2019

Private Healthcare versus NHS

Now I run a health insurance broking business so what I am about to report falls firmly under the category of "he would say that wouldn't he".

In June 2016 I injured my shoulder at a karate grading - ended up being referred to a private orthopaedic consultant via my medical insurance plan.

Arrived early for the appointment, was seen early by the doctor. Sent straight downstairs for an ultrasound scan, this was digitally available immediately in the consultants office when I went back up. Diagnosis given in same consult and out-patient procedure (pain killing injection into the joint) scheduled for a couple of days later. Total time at hospital maybe 35 minutes.

For the last few months I have been having some hip discomfort following training or longer walks. So was referred to the local NHS hospital for an X ray and some follow up physio.

No appointment was given, it's a walk in centre. So I arrived this morning, to be fair I only waited about 30 minutes for the X Ray but was moved between two waiting rooms so it actually felt a bit faster. After the X ray was done (manually developed, no digital here the radiologist proudly said - I'm not being ironic, she was proud) I idly queried if the physiotherapist would be able to see the Xray in my file - she said probably not but they can always bob down to radiology to pick up a copy.

So Xray done, results may be at my GP in a week to ten days and the physio may or may not be able to see them as well. Still pending a diagnosis and any kind of treatment.

There is nothing wrong with the NHS but this story above is to highlight the difference between the two modalities to highlight why people with limited time might want to invest in medical insurance.

So if you're self employed or simply cannot spare the time get in touch and I will whip up some private medical insurance figures for you, your family or your business !

Phil

Phil Knight
Healthcare Consultant
M: 07792 075748
T: 0113 2505702

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Wednesday, 5 June 2019

Fit Over 40

Bit of a change from work posts this morning.

Am on a bit of a health kick at the moment. The family and I are trying to eat a bit healthier at the moment, reducing processed foods and sugars whilst switching over to more fruit, roughage and cooking from scratch. In addition I'm ramping up the exercise level and have been for a few weeks now.

I regularly post about this on Twitter and Instagram and wondered if readers of the blog might give me the odd additional subscription or just a view !

I'd like to create something a bit more meaty that ties in health and fitness with entrepreneurship but need an awful lot more followers in order to justify spending the time on that as well as the 9-5.

Here's where you can find me :

@localventure1 and @fitover4T on Twitter plus pkn4395 on Instagram.

Look forward to seeing you there, remember #theonlyeasydaywasyesterday

Tuesday, 4 June 2019

Medical insurers and renewals

In the good old days one of the insurers I work with (as an independent whole of market healthcare intermediary) would send out the annual renewal terms to me as the broker. I would send it on to the client myself with notes as to the affordability, appropriateness of the cover and so forth. This was usually four to six weeks prior to the renewal date.

As you might imagine this gave me some control over timing and information and in the event of a larger than expected increase on a renewal I could offer the insurers rationale to my client and suggest options without the them having to panic.

Following the introduction of GDPR in 2018 more and more insurers are sending renewal documents direct to the client with the broker copy following either at the same time or even a little later on occasion. In practical terms this has increased my volume of panicky, upset calls and e-mails from clients by 100% (simply didn't have them before this began) and meant that in addition to sending out the renewal in the normal way, as I am required to do by our regulators, I have also had to add in an extra layer of admin to support and resolve clients concerns about their renewals.

The purpose of this post isn't to moan about insurers renewals - as annoying as this might be the insurers are simply trying to process client data properly - but rather to let you all know that it is not the broker who has made this change and in some ways it actually increases the pressure on insurers to reduce their renewal price - historically a calm reasoned e-mail from me in advance, explaining how an increase breaks down was often enough to secure the increase for the insurer at renewal (if I felt it was fair and reasonable to accept of course) but now, having upset the client by sending out the renewal to them first with just figures and no explanation at all even with my viewpoint later clients can be too annoyed to just accept what otherwise might be an appropriate renewal increase and demand a discount or even to move provider. So more pressure on the insurers renewal price to come down and thus lower revenue for their business.

In this respect, changes brought about by GDPR and to insurers renewal process are, I might suggest, a bit of an own goal ?

Monday, 3 June 2019

Summer time and medical insurance

Summer tends to be a quieter time for a lot of businesses as people drift away on holidays from the beginning of June right through to early September. Add in the long school summer holidays and sometimes it feels as if there is no one in some offices and workplaces.

It is a time of year though that I often warn clients about - do not ignore the your medical insurance renewals if they are due during this time period. I often get calls from clients and prospects in the middle of September saying they want to make a change in their plan or move insurer or indeed even set up new cover effective from 1st of June or July but because they've been away and forgotten (often despite numerous chases from me) they leave it too late.

Generally if we are setting up cover or reviewing an existing plan then quotes only last thirty days and the most we can ever backdate anything tends to be the same time period. Due to understandable underwriting commitments insurers will not allow exemptions and going away on your hols is no excuse I am afraid.

If you'd like help with your medical insurance renewal please just let me know :

Phil
Philip D Knight
Healthcare Consultant
M: 07792 075748
T: 0113 2505702

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Wednesday, 30 January 2019

Welcome to Leeds Premier Karate in Yeadon

It's a new year and I've been running training at our Leeds Dojo for over three years now - club membership is growing slowly and I'm hoping to take on board some new beginners in the coming months



If you would like to learn #karate in the #Leeds area then visit my newly updated website - we have spaces for beginners starting now - https://yeadonkarate.weebly.com/lpk-beginners.html for more information visit the website

Contact Sensei Phil Knight
07792 075748
pkn4395@gmail.com

Friday, 11 January 2019

Brexit - my perspective

Sometimes I idly wonder what life might have been like had the UK voted to remain in the EU in 2016. I also wonder what might have happened had those people in power and their minions who preached the litany of Leave had actually been truthful about the implications of that decision over two years ago.

Either way we (the UK) seem to be plunging headlong into a catastrophic political and economic abyss with no one with any common sense at the tiller.

The fact now is that in essence, as I type in mid January 2019 the UK has no workable government. Nor a viable alternative to the shambles that is currently 'in power' in Westminster. If one watches any news program, the discussion of British politics has almost stopped unless there is some kind of cock up (Windrush, Grenfell, Loss of 5,000 jobs at LandRover, Collapse of Universal Credit etc.) and all that remains is Brexit.

Following the defeat of the government on various votes in the lead up to the eventually pulled 'meaningful' vote before Christmas 2018 and the same pending vote, scheduled for next Tuesday we seem to have no coherent thought leadership from any political viewpoint.

The right wing of the Tory party seem to want to force a hard Brexit with no deal in place with the EU. The left wing of that same party are working actively with Labour to undercut the deal Prime Minister has negotiated with the EU and the Euro Sceptic centrists, largely the PM, cabinet ministers and their juniors, vastly in the minority of the Parliamentary Conservatory Party are becoming very boring repeating the same mantra about the best and only deal available.

Meanwhile, Labour seem to have no position other than to be against everything Tory and demanding a general election which, on todays opinion polls (and depending on who offers a second referendum one suspects) no one would win outright and plunge us into an even deeper crisis potentially. My question to Labour would be - what the hell is your position other than wanting an election.

The frustration is of course, now that the truth is out and everything about a post Brexit arrangement, regardless of the type of Brexit : soft, hard or evenly fried is worse it seems than being in the EU. It is difficult to imagine any final result which won't continue political, economic and social upheaval for a generation to come. We are a nation of shopkeepers lead by a generation of the politically naive for whom Brexit has become an exercise in intransigent ego stroking.

Yes, 52% of the voters (who could be bothered voting) in 2016 asked to leave but one suspects that for those same people asked now the answer might be very different. Whoever 'wins' the forthcoming events in the next few months and years the British population will ultimately be the losers and the political landscape will inevitably be l littered with the careers of both Remainers and Brexiteers whose misjudged policies have lead us into a national morass.

Welcome to 2019 !

As we move into 2019 I wanted to drop you all a note and apologise for my dismal lack of marketing and social media work in 2018 - one of the issues around building a busy practice and supporting a number of introducers and their clients on medical insurance is that you get really busy ! This means of course that the first thing that slips are blog posts and the like. However in 2019 one of my resolutions is to try and communicate a bit more with my introducer clients both via the occasional marketing e-mail like this one but also on my blog (www.localventure.blogspot.com) and also via Twitter (@localventure1) and the like. 

If you do have any medical insurance queries you would like answered I am always here to support you, as I note below :

This year have a think about the following potential classes of medical insurance client you might refer, this might include :

Your existing SME clients who don't have cover in place - new medical insurance plans for small corporate clients are an awful lot cheaper than most clients think, there are therefore very few barriers to purchase.

SME's with a current PMI plan that hasn't been reviewed in a while - any company plan which hasn't been properly reviewed in the last year or two needs urgent assistance in my opinion. Many of the larger national PMI brokers (and some big regional specialists) often don't bother to even contact clients at renewal and when they do it is a largely perfunctory and inflexible service. Lots of 'low hanging fruit' to acquire out there.

Individual and high net worth clients with : BUPA, AXA PPP, Aviva or Vitality Health - legacy personal business is relatively easy to acquire and move to a lower cost proposition. Client with these large insurers are likely paying too much.

Older clients whose prices have rocketed upwards - there comes a point where pricing is simply too high for older clients. This is not insurmountable and in many occasions we can help clients up to the age of 79 plan a move of insurer to 're-set' their pricing at a lower level.

If you would like to discuss any prospective cases with me or need general advice on medical insurance - just call or e-mail me.

Regards

Phil

Phil Knight

Independent Healthcare Consultant
(Part of Premier Choice Group, FCA No. 312878)
T. 07792 075748
E. philknight@pch.uk.com
W. www.pch.uk.com/consultants/phil-d-knight/

Thursday, 29 November 2018

Spark Email for Mac

If like me you've been a user of the Mac OS Email client for years you'll probably be as frustrated as I have been with it's idiosyncrasies and slow-downs. After 12 months of working like a snail and then more recently three days where it took 20 minutes or longer to load an e-mail, type and send it I have finally given up and moved over to Spark.

Two minutes to download from the App Store and then about five to configure the two accounts (business and personal) I need to use on a regular basis and I'm good to go.

Will no doubt come across issues - wondering whether my automator emails which I use multiple times a day in my standard workflow will operate but even if they don't it's taking so long to process one email out that I'd be quicker typing the things all from scratch anyway.

Here's to, hopefully working at normal speed again !

Wednesday, 28 November 2018

Working with small corporate clients on quotations

If you're an IFA or accountant who is interested in passing medical insurance clients over to a specialist healthcare broker like myself what are the key pieces of information you need to collate from your client to pass on to enable me to begin the review and organise some figures and an initial report ?

For brand new company  clients who currently have no medical insurance plan in place I just the following :

Name and address of the company, ideally this must match their appearance on the DTI Companies House website as many insurers now check that companies are legitimate corporate entities.

We will also need a list of staff including their ages/date of birth along with the same for dependents (although it is easy enough to price without family members and amend later which happens quite often). All staff to be covered will be paid in full by the company which results in a P11D 'benefit in kind' charge for the premium - this is part of the eligibility criteria implemented by HMRC for businesses to obtain the generally lower price and tax advantages of company paid medical insurance.

As with new personal client reports I tend not to take an in-depth overview of benefit requirements from the client at quotation stage preferring to offer a range of options in my report for us to drill down with the client at a later meeting/call.

In the next post  I'll cover off the same informational breakdown for company clients with an existing plan already in place.

If you are a business professional who think their clients might need advice on any aspect of medical insurance or other related plans please feel free to contact me on :

philknight@pch.uk.com or 07792 075748

Phil Knight
Independent Healthcare Consultant
November 2018