Thursday, 27 March 2014

Rant Time

Busy week and have gone dark on the blog for a day or two.

To get things back rolling thought I'd have a couple of rants.

1) Power companies

In the wake of the review on the big 6 power companies announced this morning I thought I'd rant about EDF - my price increased by over 20% in December 2013 despite the account being over £ 400 in credit and my being on a fixed price deal. To make this worse they didn't tell me about the increase so are in breach of the direct debit guarantee as well. I only found out three days ago when I happened to check a bank statement - on complaining apparently it's my fault for not sending them a meter reading. Brilliant.

2) Car Park

The clue is in the name - 'car' park. It's not a 'pedestrian' park (I think those are covered in grass and swings and don't allow cars to drive on them). I had to sit and wait as two women pushed their prams down the middle (literally straddling the white lines in the centre of the road with their prams) of the main exit out of a supermarket car park. They knew I was there and simply didn't care. Maybe they should have used the path to the side ??? Fantastic.

3) Restaurant disappointment

Visited one of our local fave restaurants and had one meal take 15 minutes to turn up after the rest of the main courses and one meal (mine) described as a Beef and Ale pie but was in fact a bowl of gravy with no pastry. Disappointing and overpriced. Sad !

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

New episode of PMICast now available

Following up on the PMICast Live event yesterday this episode of PMICast (the 2nd in Season 3 of the show) is a follow up and feedback session going over some of the issues that were raised and how things went generally.

Download by searching for 'PMICast' on iTunes or stream straight from the web at :

Thanks to those of you who took part yesterday and enjoy the podcast. Next weeks episode will go back to the usual format covering medical insurance, my work with introducers as well as a bit of general business news.

Please download and ...Enjoy !

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

PMICast Live : On-Line PMI workshop - Tuesday 25th of March 2014 - Live Feed ...

Welcome to the first ever PMICast Live event !!!

Hi, this is the blog post/feed that I'll use to update on the questions/comments I receive - there are several questions submitted before the live event and these are below. I'll answer them (to the best of my abilities in then new questions and answers will appear in the comments section below and also on Twitter #pmicast.

Presubmitted Questions :

1) Insurers don't want to pay claims

2) What is a chronic condition ?

3) I'm an IFA - how does working with you as an introducer work ?

4) What's the best way of joining  medical insurance plan ?

5) I cancelled my cover a while ago - should I rejoin ?


Answers :

Question 1) Insurers don't want to pay claims

Kind of true I suppose - most insurers are commercial entities so only want to pay 'eligible' claims i.e. ones covered by their plans, I'd characterise the situation more as they want to create a balance of paying for fair claims but most are tough on things that aren't covered. The key is understanding what your plan does and how it is designed to work. Once you do that and have reasonable expectations the plans work well and most people get a lot of value from them.

2) What is a chronic condition ?

This is a medical condition that cannot be cure, only managed or support. Examples would be : diabetes, asthma, rheumatism. All UK insurers have explicit exclusions for these type of problems. They would remain within the purview of the NHS - only exception would be diagnosis of these problems and acute episodes of the chronic condition i.e. flare ups - typically these would be covered so long as the condition wasn't excluded by plan underwriting.

3) I'm an IFA - how does working with you as an introducer work ?

Fairly simple - you pass me the client details and I will contact them as agreed by you and give them advice appropriate to their situation and needs. The client remains yours as part of our formal introducer agreement and you receive a commission share - both initial and renewal (as appropriate) if the client takes up my advice.

There are no charges for a client review.

Happy to discuss specifics with introducers although I don't talk directly about financials in a public forum for obvious reasons - I have a standard deal I offer to my introducers which is very generous compared to some other PMI specialists who work in a similar way. Plus I have 20+ years experience working with IFA's so I tie my style of advice and support very closely in to what IFA's might expect for their clients - process seems to work very well.

4) What's the best way of joining  medical insurance plan ?

For a new purchaser, individual or group I'd say easiest nd quickest is the moratorium - forms are simpler, I think more things end up being covered and there is no increased premium cost usually either.

5) I cancelled my cover a while ago - should I rejoin

Yes, do it now. The problem is new health conditions. The longer you leave buying or re-starting your plan the more issues medically you might develop that would be excluded when the new plan begins. As a general rule earlier is better because more things will be covered.

That's a great start to the event - more questions will follow in the comments sections below.

On-line work shop begins at 9.30am TODAY !

The on-line private medical insurance (PMI) workshop begins today at 09.30.

Contact me and ask any question about medical insurance :

Skype : pkn4395

Telephone : 07792 075748

Twitter : #pmicast

E-mail : or

Look forward to speaking later !!!

Monday, 24 March 2014

Reminder - my on-line private medical insurance workshop is tomorrow at 9.30am

Hi there,

Less than 24 hours to my on-line private medical insurance workshop.

The event begins tomorrow at 9.30am To join in you can use one of the following methods :

Telephone : 07792 075748

Skype : pkn4395

e-mail : or

Twitter #pmicast


You can ask any question about medical insurance and related products and if I can't answer you there and then I'll find out and get back to you.

We've already had several questions in in advance of the event so I'll kick off tomorrow answering those using the #pmicast and also on this blog - live (or nearly) as I can - so watch this space and I look forward to 'seeing' you all tomorrow.

Full details of the event are also on the You Tube promo at :

I'll then also summarise what we covered on the next edition of PMICast that should go live on Wednesday lunchtime.

Friday, 21 March 2014

T Minus 5 Days and counting

5 Days to go until my on-line medical insurance workshop. Find out more at #pmicast and

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Just gone over the 21,000 visits level on the blog

Just managed to creep over the 21,000 hits to this blog (that's since the end of February 2013 so we're doing ok I think.

I've managed to get an extra episode of my podcast up at (also on iTunes) so please check that out if you can. I'm up to 8,200 downloads of podcast episodes in the last 30 days so that's going great too - hopefully that means that my new Patreon campaign (at should go well ?

Just spending the rest of the day doing some marketing work - so if you find me as a result, hi there and enjoy the blog !

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Fancy trying karate in Leeds ?

Bit of a change of pace to the blog this evening and I'm going to talk about our new beginners karate class in Leeds.

The club is a Shukokai karate club called : Leeds Premier Karate Club. We train twice a week at Yeadon Westfield Junior School (New Road Side, Yeadon LS19 7HW). The beginners class starts at 6.00pm on Mondays and Wednesdays and as it's only 30 minutes long it really suits kids (really any age from five or six onwards) and adults who might be reluctant to join in with more experienced grades whilst they find their feet.

We've been in Yeadon for over 15 years and the club itself has been running for well over 20 years in total. The club is run by Sensei Michael Tattersall (5th Dan) and I help help out with the beginners class (I'm a 1st Dan black belt but have been doing karate since 1980 and as well as a 1st Dan in Shukokai karate I also have a 2nd Dan from another style - I joined Leeds Premier Karate in 2010 and have been training in Shukokai for over four years now).

We've had a lot of new beginners recently and have just (literally this evening) graded six or seven beginners to yellow belt and they now move on to the main class at 6.30pm so we need another tranche of beginners now to come and fill the 6.00pm class - we've got a couple of beginners left but need more.

So this is an opportunity to join a fun but disciplined class (karate is after all a serious marital art not a knitting class!), meet some new friends, learn some self defence and get a bit fitter too.

We welcome everybody as I say from age five/six to seventy or more - if you have any questions please feel free to call me on 07792 075748 or e-mail on for a chat on what t expect.

See you there.

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Season 3 of PMICast is now here ...

A fairly brief post today to mention three things.

1) the new ep of PMICast just went live on iTunes and at for the live web stream.

The format for PMICast seems to be working well and we now have around 8,000 listens/downloads each month which is well over where we were for seasons one and two. I'm broadly happy with the new format although always open to suggestions. I'll keep each season to a manageable 20 episodes (hopefully weekly) - Season three will run throughout the Spring and I'll then take a break over the summer hold before returning with Season 4 in September.

2) The on-line PMI workshop is now locked for next Tuesday 25th of March at 9.30am which you should know all about if you've been reading this blog or following me on social media. If you get chance you can listen to the above ep of PMICast which is a special on the event plus you can view the You Tube promo at :

3)  I launched a Patreon, on-going funding campaign for my podcasts yesterday and will cover this off in future episodes of both PMICast and Wheres Wilson but you can check this out and subscribe at :

The aim is to monetise things to the point where I can invest in sound equipment, tech and of course time to add value and news podcasts to the range to give my listeners better content all round. So please if you want to support my efforts, feel free to subscribe at the above link.

Monday, 17 March 2014

Patreon campaign for Wheres Wilson and PMICast

As listeners to PMICast might be aware I have dabbled with some sponsorship on my podcast in an effort to create a monetisation stream (however small) to enable me to devote more time and investment into podcasting.

Results have been mixed so the main PMICast podcast has stayed weekly/fortnightly and Where's Wilson (the less serious SF podcast I co-host) has remained sporadic for want of a better term.

So rather than slog on with sponsors or put a begging button on the podcast or my blog I have decided to use Patreon - the arts based on-going crowd funding vehicle. This service allows listeners to set a monthly sponsorship level they are comfortable with and takes care of all the admin for me.

Please feel free to click to the link below to find out how this works and of course if you do like the podcasts and would like to hear more on this and related subjects please become patrons and support the expansion of my podcasts in the future.

More details on the Patreon campaign at

Full details on PMICast (and Wheres Wilson) at


Using Linkedin for Marketing

I'm always very wary of bombarding prospects with marketing information but as I've mentioned here before, marketing regularly is the lifeblood of any business and for me I'm very keen to ensure I have a good pipeline of business to work through.

The key I think is discipline in marketing, whatever you do, do it consistently whether you are busy or quiet. In fact marketing is something you should do even more regularly if you're busy, that's if you want to stay busy !

However, as I say above I do not want to annoy people. Over the last three or four years I've used Linkedin fairly sporadically as a marketing tool. My main focus has been on picking up new introducers and have been fairly successful in this regards. I've also managed to pick up a couple of clients directly too.

I've recently decided to ramp up my marketing to members of groups I contribute to on Linkedin on the basis that we are all networking professionals using this business social network to get out messages out to those with similar interests.

So if you do receive a note through from me and find your way to my business via this blog I wanted to say 'hi' and please feel free to market reciprocally to me - I always try and buy from fellow professional using Linkedin where possible.

Sunday, 16 March 2014

All quiet on the Western Front

It has been quiet on the blog over the last few days with relatively few views for some reason - not entirely sure why, content hasn't really changed and in fact I've been working harder on social media than usual with the on-line private medical insurance pending on the 25th of March.

However to see the best of this blog, check out a couple of the more popular recent posts.

Firstly there's my thoughts on the future of personal medical insurance at :

That one is the most popular post I've ever put up on the blog with over 333 reads so far.

Then there is my overview on my work with professional introducers with nearly 100 hits. That one is at :

Lastly can I suggest you visit my You Tube Channel which links to a video giving full details on the aforementioned PMI workshop.

Thursday, 13 March 2014

You Tube Promo now available to view

Just an update to my posts yesterday to let you know that the promotional You Tube video covering off the major details of my forthcoming medical insurance workshop on Tuesday 25th of March.

You can view the video here : Promo Video

There are full details of how you can interact with me on the day and of course submit questions you'd like answered in advance of the day.

As I mentioned in my earlier posts please do feel free to pass the link along to as many friends and colleagues as you like - anyone you think might be interested in joining in or having their questions answered. The workshop will cover off relevant information for both individual and company purchasers of medical insurance or for my introducers or prospective introducers.

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

On line Workshop - You Tube promo now uploaded

To find out a little more about my forthcoming on-line event on all aspects of medical insurance (25th of March at 9.30am) you can now view the You Tube promo on my channel at please check it out 

Please do check it out - I'd also like to get a solid 400 or 500 views on this video prior to the event to really get the word out so if you have the opportunity and think people will be interested do feel free to share the link.

Many thanks

Tuesday update and is the new Jonathan Creek series any good

The plans are well in place for the on-line PMI workshop I blogged about yesterday.

A mailing is prepped to go out to my introducer database next week and the special episode of PMICast is prepped and will go live next Tuesday covering all aspect of the event. I have also put together a You Tube special video episode of PMICast (No 7) which is uploading as I type - link to arrive tomorrow probably.

In the meantime the listening stats for PMICast are looking fantastic - we're up to 8,000 downloads in the last 30 days and rising strongly - so please keep listening and downloading - on iTunes and

Lastly, as I type I'm watching the second episode of three of the new Jonathan Creek series - the first one was a bit dull but this one seems more interesting - always liked JC but found the first episode a bit smug - this one seems quirkier and more in keeping with the way the program used to feel.

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

The PMICast Private Medical Insurance Work Shop

I'm formally announcing this morning a new on-line idea for my clients and prospective clients.

The idea is a two hour, on line workshop where clients, prospects, IFA's, accountants in fact anyone who wants help with medical insurance can contact me and ask questions and receive support.

Of course this is an extension of work I do with my clients anyone way but I wanted to create a more interactive and marketable forum to get some buzz going around the idea.

So we have set a date - Tuesday 25th of March at 9.30am for two hours.

Anyone will be able to contact me through the following methods :

Skype - pkn4395
E-mail - or
Telephone - 07792 075748
Twitter - use the hashtag : #pmicast
Gmail video -

I will be live tweeting on that hashtag throughout the morning with updates on questions and discussion - so if you or anyone you know has any questions or comments on medical insurance I am available and would love to talk.

If there are any pre-event questions people would like to send over you can use one of the two e-mail addresses and we can get moving on the day with them.

Before the 25th I am going to put in place a special PMICast video podcast on my You Tube channel :

There will also be a special episode of PMICast (episode 1 of the new Season 3) devoted exclusively to this event and this will go live next Tuesday, the 18th of March.

I'll obviously announce things here as planning continues and things go live on the podcast and You Tube so watch this space.

In the meantime, please feel free to being using the #pmicast hashtag to tell people about the event.

Friday, 7 March 2014

Five and 'O' for March

So five working days in for March and five posts up and live.

Haven't put in place a general update post this week so thought I'd round off the week by doing so.

I have been keeping to my weekly podcasting schedule religiously recently and this week is no exception. So episode 19 is live at lots of juicy industry comment as well as the new business news feature. Please check it out on the website above or on iTunes. The listening numbers are right back up again and at the moment we are getting over 7,000 downloads/listens to the podcast every 30 days and this is growing weekly - so thanks for listening and keep telling your friends and colleagues.


If you are interested in a review of your medical insurance now is the time to contact me - lots of people have renewals in March and April so if your cover (either personal or company paid) is coming up to renewal give me a shout on or and I will gladly (as an FCA authorised medical insurance intermediary) provide a free review of your plan to ensure cover is up to date and meets your requirements plus of course, importantly, check you are not paying too much.


So that's it for another busy week. If you have chance take a moment to check out my You Tube Channel at I have around 12 videos there currently with more planned giving updates on various business and personal issues - mainly supporting my audio podcast.

You can also follow me on Twitter either at localventure1 (personal account) or philknightpch (business account) although I tend to send business stuff out through both accounts simultaneously.

Thanks and have a good weekend.


Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Private Medical Insurance - subcontracting your PMI to a specialist

As you might gather from the blog post below this one earlier today working with IFA's, accountants and other professional advisers is a major part of my business activity and one that I am working hard to expand in 2014.

For me a lead from an introducer tends to be more productive than a directly generated one simply because the introducer has a pre-built relationship with the client and I tend to 'reflect in the combined  glow' of said relationship. The client is easier to contact, more receptive and ultimately more likely to buy. That makes my life easier and is ironically better for the client - we can get straight to the heart of the matter - our discussion of the correct medical insurance advice for them.

I hope that prospective introducers visiting this blog and considering working with me will find a lot of useful information here and of course it goes without saying that anything else you need please feel free to contact me directly. Contacts are in blog post below but the best way is via the blog e-mail which is :

Please feel free to look around on google to find out more about me. I am on Linkedin, Google Plus, Facebook and of course here. You can see my full business webpage over at my compliance providers website :

You will also find my posts, sites and comment if you google search terms around 'IFA subcontract PMI' or similar. I do not pay search engines to appear high on their pages but do so anyway by virtue of having worked hard in this sector and commenting on relevant subjects on-line. Hopefully this is all a useful 'calling card' indicating that I am who I say I am and that my support can be of use to your practice.

Professional Introducers and Private Medical Insurance (PMI) - Working with IFA's, Brokers and Accountants

My Career in Overview

In 1994 I went to work for a private medical insurance company called WPA Health Insurance. Then in 1995 moved to Guardian Health, then part of the Guardian Royal Exchange Group and now integrated into AXA PPP. In 1999 I arrived at BCWA Healthcare (now Simply Health) and then finally I worked for Standard Life Healthcare from 2002 to 2007 before leaving the medical insurance industry (although I continued to work in the health insurance sector both as an employee at First Assist and then RED ARC Assured and also as an independent marketing consult) and then ultimately setting up my own healthcare intermediary practice in late 2010.

So from 1994 to late 2007 I worked exclusively with IFA's and brokers as a consultant for medical insurers helping the brokers write volume medical insurance business both for their individual and corporate clients.

The future of introducers (non-specialist IFA's and brokers) in the PMI Sector

During this time I came to see that for sound business reasons the PMI insurers began to reduce the support they offered to smaller or non-specialist IFA's and intermediaries to the point that I would now suggest that if you are not placing regular PMI business with an insurer, month in month out it is has become very difficult to keep up to date on insurers plans, admin procedures and switch protocols. In addition many of the more niche insurers won't necessarily offer agencies to non-specialist brokers so remaining 'whole of market' becomes difficult for anyone other than a specialist like myself.

In short, although their reasons were valid many PMI insurers can no longer offer proper support to smaller or non-specialist healthcare brokers.

My unique selling points

So building on my experience of looking after IFA's, Accountants and General/Commercial Brokers over the years I have built up my own practice around creating professional introducers arrangements where I can offer an enhanced level of support on medical insurance business to my introducers and their clients. They know and trust that I can offer focused and professional advice/support for their clients. Of course the client therefore receives proper advice and their cover is up to date and meeting their needs and so on. The aim is to create a virtuous circle - access to the PMI market for IFA's and my other introducers and excellent advice for clients.

One of the key issues I like to raise with IFA's is that my work is there to add value to their practice over the years - so in working with them not only do I receive access to their clients, they receive a growing and profitable PMI book of business - I do not plan to go in to one of my introducers, sell a policy and disappear - I am not a 'one hit wonder' but rather the plan is that my support is long-term and on-going helping build value and profit.

In regular discussions with IFA's (I had two new IFA's contact me today for example) we often talk about their not having the time or personnel to offer PMI pro-actively to clients or desire to research the PMI market to keep up to speed and so on.

Product research, quote support, new business sales, claims and admin management - these are all areas I regularly support my introducers and their clients on.


Although I'm based in Leeds, West Yorkshire, I do look after both introducers and clients around the UK and in fact the world. I have introducers in the following major cities amongst others :

London, Glasgow, Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham, Brighton, Hull, Cardiff and Belfast

On-line Support

I run a Linkedin Group called 'Intro Med' for my introducer clients, find me on Linkedin as Philip Knight and you'll see the group on the profile. Please feel free to send a request to join.

I also have an on-line document/marketing resource on Drop Box - e-mail me at : for a link to the public folder.

Lastly, listen to my weekly PMI podcast : PMICast - available on iTunes or at

Who can you help

Broadly any kind of professional adviser who wants to sub-contract their work on PMI - this might include : IFA's, general or commercial brokers, accountants, solicitors and a range of other professions - if you have clients who I could help we can probably come to some kind of arrangement.

In each case a professional introducer agreement is set up and fair, pre-agreed financial arrangements put in place so everyone knows what the requirements and logistics are.

Which Clients

I look after individual and group (company) clients for medical insurance, international medical insurance, dental and cash plan cover, sickness absence management, Employee Assistance Programs and health screening.

Anything health related basically.


If you are thinking of looking at your medical insurance portfolio or want assistance with any health insurance cases please do consider giving me a call (07792 075748) or dropping an e-mail ( or

I'm always happy to discuss medical insurance with anyone - even if you don't go on to become an introducer with me I'll always make time to answer any questions you might have.

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Secret Guide to your 'To Do' list

What makes for a good 'To Do' list ?

Well first of all in my opinion, make it bullet pointed,

* Sorry, make it bullet points

* Obviously prioritise - important first, least important last
* Actually make phone calls and appointments first - they're usually most important/client facing
* liberal use of underlining and bold and CAPS
* Regularly update
* Make sure you don't repeat
* Make sure you don't repeat
* Make sure you don't repeat
* Set yourself a limit on how many times you will carry forward an item to the next day
* Don't worry that you don't finish everything on the list every day
* If you do finish a given day's to do items always try to do at least one item from the following day - you'll feel better psychologically
*Set up evening and weekend to do items - that way non-urgent or non client facing tasks are done outside key client contact times
* Make it computerised not paper if possible
Always keep a back up in case you lose the master copy (iCloud us a good backup)
* Colour coding might help ?

Not an exhaustive list but hopefully interesting and useful in at least passing... now what have I got left to do now ?

Monday, 3 March 2014

If at first you don't succeed, shout at someone !

Working in a service/customer support industry over the years I have noticed that sometimes when people experience a set back the initial response, regardless of the problem and who is to blame, they tend to lash out at the first person they can contact.

This means that often they rage at someone who either cannot help and almost certainly wasn't to blame for the issue in the first place.

As a general principle this reaction can't be very productive, if for no other reason than the person who is berated, even if they could be of assistance probably won't feel inclined to help now or in the future. Plus of course getting angry and upset doesn't help the person with the problem and makes them feel worse and less empowered.

Thinking about the best response my advice would be to do what I try to do when writing a difficult e-mail. Get everything down in the e-mail, however wild and vitriolic (for god's sake do not include the sendee's e-mail address in case you press send accidentally - that's a whole other nightmare) and then leave it overnight - you'll come to the issue fresh in the morning with some perspective and an awareness that some of the worse things you said and/or thought aren't socially acceptable or constructive - a well thought out and reasoned argument always trumps a shot from the hip. This is especially the case if you know you have to continue to deal with the person/organisation on an on-going basis.

Last thought, if the well thought out e-mail or response doesn't work - you're probably entitled to shout after all !