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 - for more information visit the website

Contact Sensei Phil Knight
07792 075748

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 ( 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.



Phil Knight

Independent Healthcare Consultant
(Part of Premier Choice Group, FCA No. 312878)
T. 07792 075748

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 : or 07792 075748

Phil Knight
Independent Healthcare Consultant
November 2018

Tuesday, 27 November 2018

Data for an continued medical exclusions transfer

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 personal clients who currently have a medical insurance plan in place I just need to know who is to be covered, how old they are and where they live. So names, dates of birth and home address for everyone to be covered.

In addition, as I will be undertaking a comparative market review I'll need full information on the current plan. The insurer, product name, excess and other plan options taken, the renewal date and current/renewal premium. This is to ensure that when pricing we look at offering like for like comparisons to establish that the clients needs can continue to be met by the product and hospital listing of a prospective new insurer.

Lastly and in some cases most importantly I will also ask the client for an overview of claims going back a minimum of five years and any pending medical medical issues they are aware of. Switching existing clients between insurers without negatively impacting on their medical underwriting is a complex and technical element of the review and thorough fact-finding is vital. Claims in the past, depending on when they happened and their nature do not necessarily preclude moving a client to a new insurer but they might limit the options we can consider and almost certainly affect the pricing we offer.

In the next post  I'll cover off the same breakdowns for company clients with no plan already place.

Monday, 26 November 2018

Good to be back blogging again

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

For brand new personal clients who currently do not have cover in place it is a relatively easy set of data that is required. Basically I just need to know who is to be covered, how old they are and where they live. So names, dates of birth and home address for everyone to be covered. That's basically it.

Some intermediaries might also ask a client what level of cover they require and which hospital they would prefer to use. My standard quotation and report process is a little more open ended. For new clients, unless they have a specific initial expectation, is to offer a range of benefits, excess levels and prices form a number of insurers (usually between four and seven providers) to give us a number of options to discuss. I find this methodology, whilst sometimes involving a little more work for me gives context and a good reason to explain how PMI plans work and the benefits of various plan options and the ideas and practicalities that sit behind them. It also means the initial telephone fact find with the client or the introducer is simpler and the initial report gets to the client more quickly.

Tomorrow I'll cover off the same breakdown for personal clients with a plan already in existence, sometimes called 'switch' or 'continued personal exclusions' (CME) transfers. Then in follow up posts I'll talk about similar information for company paid clients.

Friday, 23 November 2018

The importance of reviewing your medical insurance at least every other year

I'm just beginning looking at the mid December 2018 renewal terms for one of my clients.

The premium last year went from £ 489 per annum to £ 559 p.a. for a mid range policy with Aviva.

Last year I thought this increase was not unreasonable (equating to £ 5.83 per month) but I did a market review anyway as I often do for clients. There were lower costs with other insurers but not low enough to make it worthwhile moving insurer so the client and I elected to renew as is with Aviva. The insurer offered a small discount and everyone was happy.

This year the renewal terms have arrived in at £ 783 per annum - we will have to renew the market again and this time assuming no pending claims then I will almost certainly recommend a move as I can think of at least two insurers who on a clean switch case like this one will offer considerably lower terms than the holding insurer.

The morale to this story is two fold - firstly never ever leave your insurance to auto-renew, contact an expert intermediary and review things. Even if leaving things as they are is the right advice at least you can have some context on how your plan compares with market. Secondly, pricing and insurers approaches to taking on new clients changes in my market quite quickly - there are options available now that were not available only 12 months ago so it is always worth checking in a renewal time.

For help, contact me on 07792 075748 or

I look after personal medical insurance (primarily high net worth clients but I will NEVER turn anyone away even if you just want a natter about your options), company cover 2 - 20,000 employees and various associated covers : optical, dental, cash plan, EAP, Sickness Absence - your one stop shop for professional healthcare consultancy

Phil Knight

November 2018  

The Problem with GDPR - 1) Inconsistency

Hands up anyone who understands how GDPR is supposed to work ? Not even the lawyers can do that because they know that GDPR exists, amongst other reasons, to keep them in work with it's ambiguities and inconsistency.

For anyone, business or customer those four letters have become some of the most annoying in recent history. Let me give you an example of the inconsistency of GDPR in operation.

Two weeks ago I needed to book in a medical scan for a family member - the hospital had my number and called me to arrange it on their behalf. This was agreed at the hospital with their radiology team. The call to diary in the test came to my mobile and they asked to speak to the patient - my family member. I explained as above, we'd agreed I would organise it as I'm taking the person to the appointment and have a note from their diary of when they are available - all agreed with me in one call, appointment booked. No problem.

One week later exactly. The results meant another follow up scan was needed in two months time. The procedure was agreed with the same people in the same hospital to do the same thing as noted above to book in the new visit.

The call came in to my mobile and they asked to speak to the patient. I said, "Oh the scan people - I'll book in the appointment as I'm bringing the person and have their diary."

"No, can I speak to the patient" I said "Why" - guess what the answer was : GDPR.

I tried to make the point that GDPR hadn't applied seven days earlier in EXACTLY the same circumstances especially considering that the only personal information they divulged was the name of the patient which I had already. Totally bonkers. They wouldn't let me book the scan and therefore they had to call back again to my family member directly who of course couldn't book in the visit as they didn't have my diary - the person who was organising the transport.

Ludicrous on two levels - the inconsistency within the same department in the same hospital and the fact that despite no personal medical information being involved they've made it functionally impossible for someone who can't organise their own transport/needs to be accompanied by a family member to make an appointment. Lunacy.

Wednesday, 30 May 2018

Welcome to Localventure 2018

Well looking at the stats is appears that it has been over two months since I last posted on this blog (wonder what happened to 'daily content' ????).

As I've talked about before it is generally other work issues that prevent me from having the time to log my thoughts and in fact I'm pretty busy today but checked in on the blog to ensure that the new data notice a la GDPR was displaying properly - it is so, no issues with my stealing your lovely cookies for nefarious anti-privacy purposes (give me strength).

If you're reading this as one of my business introducers, Welcome - now that tax year end has finished and the summer holidays are shortly to begin this is usually the time of year I get quite a few client referrals from my IFA's, general brokers and accountants - so please feel free to ping over your enquiries as and when - I'm here and ready to serve.

Phil Knight
Independent Healthcare Consultant
07792 075748

May 2018