Tuesday, 8 July 2014

IFA's and private medical insurance

OK so its July.

The quietest time of the year - the ISA's are all done and decisions on pensions and investments are now on-hold until first of September.

As an independent financial adviser (IFA) how do you continue to generate revenue during July and August ?

The answer is : 'private medical insurance' or PMI. All IFA's have clients with PMI either through other advisers or (more likely) direct with insurers. There was a time in the 1990's and early 2000's when BUPA, AXA PPP, Aviva and to a lesser extent Standard Life Healthcare (now part of PruHealth) were massively active in the individual and group medical insurance market signing up tens of thousands of clients direct. Then increasing regulatory burden with the introduction of regulation into the general insurance market in 2006 saw the end of that and the move over more to focus on intermediated sales for the big four insurers.

However this market situation creates both an opportunity and a problem for IFA's. Firstly the opportunity. There are all these legacy PMI plans floating around where the client will not have received proper advice on product, pricing, renewals, claims or indeed anything in up to ten or fifteen years. Inevitably there are dozens of people in your client bank who need an urgent review of their PMI plan. They're paying too much, often for inferior cover and we can help them.

Given these people will now tend to be over 40 and the fact that they bought the cover in the first place means they are probably reasonably well off and financially aware and you could be talking to them about reviewing their PMI plans.

But, the problem for IFA's is that since the early noughties and especially since 2006 and regulation the insurers have been relying more and more on specialist intermediaries like myself for two main reasons. Firstly there is the old 80:20 rule - that 80% of the business comes from the top 20% of clients but also that following regulation and with the increasing complexity of the medical insurance market it has become impractical for IFA's (in most instances) to remain current and receive support from insurers. This means essentially that one important option for IFA's is to sub-contract their medical insurance advice to an adviser like myself.

Regardless of who sells your PMI business (and I'll tell you why you should use me in a moment) there is an enormous tranche of clients out there both individual and corporate who need support on their PMI and Summer is the ideal time to start digging about in your client bank to see if you can shake some new business loose.

Why would you come to me to help with PMI for your clients. ?

Well in essence I've been in PMI since 1994 and financial services more generally since 1989.

I've worked for several PMI insurers as a broker consultant (from 1994 to 2007) and since setting up my own specialist PMI practice in late 2010 I have specialised in helping IFA's, accountants and other professional advisers with sales & support on PMI for their clients.

Put simply I'm doing this day in day out with dozens of IFA's and adviser like you and I can definitely add value to your work with clients.

If you're interested just drop me a mail on philknight@pch.uk.com or call on : 07792 075748.

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