Allianz Worldwide Care sets sights on domestic UK PMI market

International private medical insurance provider launches 'upper-end' product to provide comprehensive care in the UK and overseas

One of the largest providers of international private medical insurance (PMI) is targeting the domestic UK market with the launch of a new product designed for ‘upper end’ senior management executives.

Allianz Worldwide Care said it has developed its ‘Signature’ plan after it carried out research which suggested many were frustrated by the fact that their medical schemes limited them to receiving treatment only in the UK.

One of the plan’s key features is that treatment can be undertaken inside or outside the UK, providing corporate clients with what the insurer calls a “fully portable and transparent” health plan which offers cover for cancer treatment, chronic conditions, routine maternity, routine health checks, dental and optical treatment.

Health Insurance first broke the news that the insurer was looking closely at the UK market last year.

Sharing more details with Health Insurance this week, Ron Buchan, CEO, and Claude Daboul, director of sales, marketing & operations, of Allianz Worldwide Care (pictured), said clinicians and hospitals are becoming increasingly specialised in the procedures they carry out and the best treatment available may not be available in the UK. That – and the fact that customers are becoming increasingly informed about the quality and availability of treatment in different geographical locations – means that upper-end executives no longer think it is acceptable that their PMI should not give them access to treatment in whichever country they wish to have it.

Although Buchan said the plan would “not be cheap”, he claimed it is “one of the most comprehensive and transparent PMI plans on the market” and would be no more expensive than upper-end products currently offered by domestic providers which limit customers to receiving treatment in the UK alone.

Buchan also denied that the product would be prohibitively expensive. He said that the cost of providing access to care in more locations would be offset by the fact that while the best treatment might be available overseas, it can often be less expensive than in the UK.

Buchan told Health Insurance that his vision for PMI in the future was one where members would expect cover to be “routinely without borders”. However, while he expects other providers to develop similar offerings, few have the reach of Allianz Worldwide Care’s existing capabilities as a large international PMI provider.

He said: “You need to have the infrastructure overseas to be able to do this."

Look out for more analysis and a product review on www.hi-mag.com and in the monthly magazine in the coming weeks.

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