According to Wood, discussions about open referral ahead of its introduction had gone down well with Bupa’s Intermediary Advisory Panel, a group of some the most influential advisory firms in the market. Indeed, brokers contacted by Health Insurance are largely supportive of the move, now that the concept has had time to bed in.
“Interestingly enough we’ve now had a number [of brokers] who have proactively contacted us and said ‘well why can’t we have this for our SME and age-rated [schemes]?’ We’ve said that we are considering that at the moment and we’ll be taking that feedback on board.”
So can the market expect more changes from Wood and Bupa in the future?
“Change is normal,” Wood says. “I have worked in financial services and been through every kind of reform you could ever imagine. I think it’s just a normal part of life.”
Wood is clearly relishing the challenge of heading up sales during a time of unprecedented change in the UK PMI market and he’s applying some logic from down under to see it through.
“We had a saying in Australia which is ‘pace over perfection’,” he says. “It’s something I’ve brought to this business which says ‘we can’t keep working on things forever and ever and ever and hoping to get it absolutely perfect’. Sometimes we’ve just got to get out there and make things happen. And I don’t mean get things wrong either but we’ve got to keep the pace up because that’s how fast the market is moving now.”