Monday, 13 February 2017

Medical insurance for high net worth clients

The business of advising clients on their medical insurance requirements is a relatively complex task based primarily around the mixing of clients health and lifestyle requirements  with a set of insurance products which vary widely in benefit construction and administration/claims by the various insurance companies. As clients get older and more financially secure the level of involvement and support tends to increase.

Although I work with a very wide range of personal and corporate clients as my practice has grown and developed over the years I have tended more and more in the personal sector to look after senior professionals and high net worth (HNW) types of clients.

The basic premise of finding suitable cover at the right price for these kinds of client is at its most basic no different from advising any other client, however there are some additional factors to bear in mind :

1) Personal 'foibles' and fact-finding - one doesn't get to be successful and accumulate a degree of personal wealth without knowing your own mind and perhaps developing some idiosyncracies. This means that when fact-finding one has to bear in mind that the kinds of questions you need to ask will be subtly different. This will usually mean that a HNW client will possibly already have medical insurance cover in place and have extremely clear thoughts about what they do and don't like about products and insurers. If they are new to medical insurance it might be a requirement for a specific benefit or access to one more expensive hospital or a particular consultant they want to see in the future. Regardless, the fact-finding process which always sits at the centre of client advice really becomes an art form and not a science.

2) Available income - price is going to be an issue with any client as medical insurance is a commoditised product whether we like it or not. However the wealthier a client the less likely they are to actually need or want PMI. Think of it like this : private medical treatment is expensive and most of us wouldn't dream of paying tens of thousands of pounds for a hip replacement or £ 600 or £ 700 for an MRI scan. However if you are wealthy and have large amounts of disposable cash then perhaps you can afford to simply pay treatment providers direct for the best treatment. That said in my experience HNW clients are always canny about their health and wealth. They can understand the value of medical insurance cover for high value claim items and wish to insure against future possible medical problems. This means that their cover will typically include very comprehensive benefits for in-patient and day case cover (the more expensive elements of PMI costs) but often they will self insure for initial diagnostics and out-patient investigations. This means typically that a HNW client will make maximum use of those insurers who might offer flexible, modular based products.

3) Treating the Customer Fairly - this is a central tenet of all insurance sales these days and rightly so. I think though that it is worth stating that the average HNW client probably expects more from their representatives and as a result can be more work to stay on top of. This isn't necessarily a problem, it just means that with this kind of client one cannot take a hands off approach and leave things to chance - the client drives the business and how it is transacted.

4) Insurer service - there are some insurers who are more 'bureaucratic' than others. Not a problem - every business has the right to run it's internal practices as they wish This means though that I might tend not to select some companies for a more demanding client. In practice my HNW clients tend to favour the smaller, more customer focused insurers anyway. These smaller or newer players in the market tend to keep red tape to a minimum and can make good homes for discerning clients. That's not to say that the larger insurers won't necessarily feature in a review for a HNW clients. It simply means that other insurers who might be a little more expensive tend to compete on a more even playing field.

5) Going that extra mile - as a last thought, you might imagine that as HNW clients are more work and do require more support that one needs to constantly ingratiate oneself and be seen to be working hard on their behalf. In fact in my experience nothing could be farther from the truth. They need things to happen quickly and quietly behind the scenes and a good HNW client is one who expects things to happen for them and when it does, without fuss that is the way to keep them happy in the longer term.

If you are a client who needs advice on medical insurance (and related cover) regardless of how much you earn or are worth - let me know on :

07792 075748

or

philknight@pch.uk.com

Whether you are a Lord, Landlord or simple Mister or Missus I would be happy to help you with your medical insurance cover.

If you're an IFA, Accountant or general broker who wants an easier life and perhaps to subcontract your medical insurance business to a specialist, again I can help.

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