Thursday, 29 January 2015

Why you should have private medical insurance

Today my wife is making a claim on our private medical insurance (PMI) plan.

It's a minor claim for a non-serious condition but it really brings home the value of the private medical insurance.

An appointment booked at a convenient time, greeted in a friendly manner on arrival and kept informed of progress at each stage and importantly all aspects of the procedure explained in detail.

As I type I am sat in a comfortable, single bed hospital room with toilet and wardrobe waiting for my wife to return from theatre. Oh, I'm drinking a hot chocolate (free) and using free wifi which frankly is faster than my own office wifi.

The NHS Would have done all this for us but it would have taken longer, been much more undignified and uncomfortable and caused far more disruption.

Click to buy your own medical insurance.

Happy to help you experience this if you ever need treatment.

Click on the above link or call on 07792 075748 or e-mail :

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

When was your medical insurance last reviewed ?

Every year individual medical insurance premiums are assessed by your medical insurer and increase based on the following factors (note that some or all of them may apply at each renewal) :

  • Age increase
  • Medical inflation increase
  • No claims discount, loading for claim or discount for no claims
  • Additional loadings or discounts based on elements of product or clients address

It's also worth noting that the keenest price is usually made available to new customers in order to attract new blood in to them, based on the principle that inertia and frankly, laziness will prevent existing customers leaving them.

I think that because of the tendency for insurers to load up their existing customers and offer better pricing to new people it is vital that customers regularly assess their medical insurance plans at renewal. It is also worth pointing out that over time our needs for benefits will change, as will the kinds of benefits offered by insurers. So broadly the plan you bought even a few years ago won't necessarily still suit you now.

With all of this in mind I sanity check my existing clients individual plans every year and undertake a market review whenever I think the pricing charged at renewal is unreasonable. To prospective clients and of course readers of this blog with medical insurance in place at the moment I would suggest that if you haven't reviewed your medical insurance cover in the last three years you need to do so urgently. You may well be paying more than you need for cover which doesn't necessarily meet your requirements anymore.

For a free review of your medical insurance cover contact me on : 07792 075748 or

I am a fully FCA Regulated Healthcare Intermediary with over 21 years of experience.

New karate beginners class - 2nd of February 2015

We are beginning a new beginners karate class next Monday.

Here are the details.

Leeds Premier Karate Club, Yeadon. 

Dojo trains at : Westfield Infant School, Westfield Grove, Yeadon, West Yorkshire LS19 7NQ

Training times for beginners class : 6.00pm to 6.30pm Monday and Wednesday evenings.

Intermediate/Advanced Class : 6.30pm to 8.00pm.

First four beginners lessons are free so you can decide if you enjoy it.

You'll be trained by a senior instructor with over 35 years of karate training experience.

We accept students from age 5 to 95 !

This is Shukokai karate - a traditional Japanese style that offers strong, effective techniques taught in a fun and disciplined way.

For details please contact Sensei Phil Knight, Club Instructor - 07792 075748 or

Senior Class - Leeds Premier Karate, Monday 26th January 2015
(Sensei Phil at back centre)

Fantastic Four trailer

Just watched the new teaser trailer - once again the producers and directors of the movie seem not to have bothered to read a single FF comic.

It has all the charm, adventure and excitement of Battlefield Earth and that dirge that they play over the voiceover - had been looking forward to a decent attempt at Marvels first family but once again it doesn't look like this is it.

Why don't they sell the rights back to Marvel ?

Monday, 26 January 2015

Completing medical insurance forms

When completing forms for insurance generally and medical insurance in particular it is vital to always answer the pertinent health questions as accurately and completely as possible. This is ultimately the basis of general insurance called 'utmost good faith'.

So if asked about a range of health issues you have to declare anything covered by the questions. This is pretty straightforward and obviously if you fail to declare a condition or fib about something and the insurer finds out then, quite rightly they are able to decline the claim or (in extreme situations) void the contract and return the premiums paid.

In 22 years of working in the medical insurance industry I have never come across a case of blatant non-disclosure as outlined above. It is relatively rare and you'd have to set out to defraud and my experience is that most people (certainly all my clients) are genuine and don't want to do anything like this wrong.

However one thing to be careful of and that does happen a little bit more often is failing to declare something medical which occurs after a health questionnaire is signed but before your plan starts. It is much easier (and more likely) to sign a form and forget to mention you have a GP appointment booked or come down with something after the form signed. Even a short interregnum period like this can cause problems.

Technically anything that happens before the plan starts might (depending on the nature of the problem and medical question) need to be advised to the insurer.

I had a case recently where a client inadvertently visited the GP between signature and start date. Fortunately the condition was for an unrelated condition and the claim was paid but not without some explaining to the insurer - very stressful for my client and I daresay for the insurer claims department as well !

So please be careful and if you're not sure on an application if a medical consult or symptom needs to be declared then just check with me or your insurer.

Friday, 23 January 2015

New episode of PMICast finally arrives

Since the beginning of the year I have been struggling to find time to record the next episode of PMICast and today I finally managed to pull together a few moments to get it sorted.

As a result the latest episode which is number 62 is now available on iTunes, other pod catchers and on-line at

If you have chance over the next few days please take the time to listen. This one is devoted exclusively to introducer business so if you are an IFA, Accountant or general broker who needs help with medical insurance then this one should be right in your well house.

Enjoy !

Monday, 19 January 2015

Leeds Premier Karate - Yeadon - New Beginners Class

If you're interested in learning karate, getting fit, picking up a bit of self defence, getting some confidence etc then you're in luck.

We are starting a new rolling beginners class at Leeds Premier Karate from Monday the 2nd of February at our Yeadon Dojo.

The beginners class will run from 6.00pm to 6.30pm Mondays and Wednesdays.

We train at Westfield Infants School, Westfield Grove, Yeadon Leeds LS19 7NQ

Contact me on 07792 075748 or for full details.

The class will suit ages from 7 to 70 we keep it fun but disciplined. Traditional martial arts taught in a modern and exciting way.

Come and learn karate - senior black belt instructors with over 30 years of experience each.

Welcome (back) to Localventure - my business blog

Have not updated the blog in a while, simply been very busy with work.

I am still here and looking at the stats we're up to nearly 30,000 unique visits with an average of over 1,000 per month - so even when things are quieter we are still taking some traffic.

I'm about to have a bit of a push with introducers (IFA's and accountants mainly) who are interested in working with me on medical insurance for their clients. You can find out more about this by reading some of the older posts on this blog or visiting 'Intro Med' my introducer group on Linkedin.

I will be talking on the blog about my work with introducers, the next episode of my podcast (No. 62) : PMICast (on iTunes and at will be another introducer special. I am also about to send out another mailing to my master list of prospects.

If you're an IFA you might arrive at this blog following a message from me on Linkedin (which is where I do pick up quite a few decent introducer enquiries) so welcome ! Lastly it is always worth checking out my medical insurance You Tube Channel : Purely Medical Insurance - click to visit. There are currently three 'guide to' type videos on medical insurance with the fourth (you guessed it) an introducer special video - shortly to go up.

So in the meantime if you're an IFA, accountant, general broker etc and you have a client who needs help with new or existing medical insurance feel free to get in touch : or - I'm always happy to chat medical insurance and of course offer generous introducer fee/commission sharing to all of my introducers.

Contact me for more info. 07792 075748

Monday, 12 January 2015

Support for IFA and other kinds of introducers on medical insurance

Here's a brief article/post I have just put up on Linkedin on my introducer group there (

If you're interested in getting help for your clients on medical insurance why don't you get in touch with me ?

I work with a range of IFA's, Accountants, General Brokers, Protection Specialists, Overseas IFA's and others - anyone who has clients that need focused, customer friendly advice and support on medical insurance.

I've worked in medical insurance since 1994, running my own practice since 2010 and I look after individual and company clients in the UK and around the world.

To get in touch contact me via Linkedin, Twitter : @localventure1 or @philknightpch, e-mail : or call on : 07792 075748.

Listen to my medical insurance podcast : PMICast on iTunes or

If you are thinking about sub-contracting advice for your clients on medical insurance then feel free to get in touch and I would be happy to chat through with you how I work with my other introducers and how I might be able to help you.

Phil Knight

Friday, 9 January 2015

Small Group Medical Insurance

So you run a small business or are a sole trader. Why do you and your business need medical insurance ?

Good question.

The answer is that now that you are running your own business or rely on your health to be able to work and earn money for yourself and your family you simply cannot afford to be a slave to the National Health Service (NHS). Now this article is not aiming to run down the NHS, far from it. But it remains a fact that in these days of postcode funding, deteriorating A and E services and growing waits for minor elective procedures most people, if only from a convenience standpoint, do not want to become an NHS statistic. When you add in the fact that most self employed people or business owners simply cannot take time off work to fit in to NHS clinic times (that's once you get your appointment through) Private Medical Insurance (PMI) becomes a vital consideration

So the reason you need PMI is simple - to gain control over your health and ensure that your medical treatment fits in with your work and home lifestyle and of course that treatment is available quickly and when and where you need it.

Primary Care - usually PMI doesn't cover the initial contact with your GP. This remains a core part of the NHS and medical insurers for the most part haven't replicated the primary care/GP structure privately. However some plans may now offer a GP or nurse consultation service (often remotely on Skype or via the telephone) to give more convenience than your local, super busy GP practice. This works very much along the lines of an out of hours GP surgery - the details you give to the insurer GP will eventually end up on your main medical records so the two systems can work hand in hand.

Emergency Treatment - again this remains the remit of the NHS. However, minor issues should always go via your GP and these can often end up being treated privately. Remember never to go to Casualty with minor health worries - the media are full of stories of people arriving at A and E with headaches and other minor ailments - this is one of the reasons why emergency services can be on the brink of collapse - use them sensibly and if you have PMI by all means consider using it for minor problems as well as more expensive medical items.

Minor elective treatment - right in the wheelhouse of medical insurance. Those minor annoying conditions that whilst not life threatening will affect your life in a negative fashion. This is also the type of problem that tends to have long NHS waiting lists and often elective procedures will get cancelled at short notice when NHS hospitals get busier (e.g. in the winter). PMI gives the business owner the capability to have these problems resolved immediately. Having authorised the claim with the insurer following a single GP visit the treatment is provided exactly when you want with the treatment provider of choice at the hospital most convenient to you. In many cases :  initial consult, diagnostic tests, in-patienr or day-case treatment, specialist follow up and recuperation/physio are all complete before you would have even had the initial NHS out-patient appointment through.

Major Health Problems - we all hope that nothing really bad will happen to us or our family, unfortunately sometimes this can happen. The NHS will always look after the seriously ill but business owners need not only the best treatment but also the re-assurance that their cover is in place if the worst happens. Having medical insurance cover in place means that time off work (which can be stressful if income might otherwise stop during a serious illness) is kept to a minimum and if treatment fits in with your schedule and the demands of your business as well as your health then you will tend to get better faster.

Summary - overall PMI cover gives those who cannot take time off work the fastest access to the best in medical treatment as and when required. In the same way you would insure your business vehicle or your income against long term illness (using an income protection plan) you should also insure your body against short term and acute illness.

Cover can be provided for individuals, small one or two member partnerships or companies, larger corporate clients - whatever you need there is a plan out there I can find and recommend. You can also cover your family, staff members - there is total flexibility.

For more information on medical insurance for companies, senior managers, sole traders, trade-ins and the elf employed please contact me on :

07792 075747

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Please take the time to visit me on You Tube

I am going to try in 2015 to make more of my You Tube Channel and with this in mind could I ask you to visit and check out the videos there.

At the moment there are three videos on my Purely Medical Insurance channel.

1) From November 2014 covering off the basics of medical insurance in general - what it is and why you might need it. View the video

2) Again in the second video in November there is an overview of individual cover. How taking out medical insurance for you and your family might be of interest and what to look out for when choosing your cover. View the second clip

3) The most recent video, upload in December 2014 is a guide to medical insurance for small companies. Find out about group cover

As an independent FCA regulated healthcare intermediary I think that these videos will prove useful - if you would like any further information about new medical cover for yourself or your company please feel free to contact me via the blog or e-mail on I can also review existing plans and possibly save you some money or enhance your cover (or indeed both).

At the moment there have been around 80 views on these three videos. Moving forwards I will of course be adding more videos to this channel but I would like to really get the viewings up - so if you or anyone you know if interested in buying medical insurance please do not hesitate to pass on the above url's.