International health insurance still a valued commodity, according to our research

Good news for brokers with an interest in international health insurance – clients still find this a valued commodity supporting their overseas lifestyle, according to our new research. In our research, 70% of clients agreed that international health insurance offered good value for money, while about 95% of clients stated that it was vital for their peace of mind.

Clients are looking to their international health policy to cover a variety of necessary areas including cover for chronic care, which was top of the list for essentials. Debbie Purser, CEO at April International UK, “Our research shows that cover for chronic conditions is one of the most sought after policy features. That’s because many international healthcare policies will only cover costs while the client is hospitalised – as soon as the patient is released and the initial illness treated, cover against the cost of ongoing medication can cease. That’s why cover for chronic costs has always been high on our list of priorities.”

Third on the list of ‘wants and needs’, after full refund of medical costs with no excesses, is a guaranteed renewal of policy. The ability to offer year on year renewal of policies is something April International UK is able to provide. In addition, we can also offer Medical History Disregarded underwriting terms for groups with 10 employees plus. This is a key factor for organisations looking to reduce costs by changing provider, where there is a claims history in the past.

Back office issues again scored highly with both clients and brokers, with 65% of brokers stating that back office administration is more important than price alone. The quality of technical support has improved over previous years, but back office factors are a relevant and important area of competitive advantage amongst international health insurance providers. What’s needed is something we have always provided - a good back office, with excellent technical support to help brokers sell and explain policies, fast and efficient administration and speedy claims settlement.

Wellbeing checks are still top of the client list for biggest single omission from facilities available in an international health policy. Debbie Purser comments, “We have a Wellness Benefit on our comprehensive policies for individuals and groups, which allows a bi-annual medical screen. This vital benefit adds a heightened level of reassurance for those individuals and employers looking for wellbeing checks.”

Another factor that needs to be taken into consideration is the increasing number of clients asking for war cover – nearly a third of clients questioned said they would not consider a policy if it did not provide some level of war cover.

Flexibility remains a major factor of choice with both clients and brokers looking for bespoke and personalised options. Brokers looking for flexibility should consider group business, which can be a profitable area, especially if looking for lower premium costs perhaps for a client who has a range of employees moving abroad, such as a school and its teaching staff. With April International UK, lower rates start with just five employees on a policy and as the numbers rise to 50, significant additional discounts are available

Allied to the ability to offer bespoke cover options, group business can offer a rich seam for brokers to exploit, with high levels of client satisfaction guaranteed when they are able to deliver a unique cover proposition allied to low premium costs.