Friday 28 October 2016

Broker best for health renewals

Insurance broker advising couple
Insurance broker advising couple

Most of us use an insurance broker for motor, house and life insurance. We figure they've done the leg-work and can find an affordable policy. However, research from Glo Health shows that only 13pc will use one to get through the maze that is health insurance.

With more than 220 plans on the market and frequent changes in cover from one year to the next, it's a minefield that most of us would prefer to avoid.

The numbers taking out private cover have gone up, thanks to Health Minister Leo Varadkar's "stick approach" of penalising over-34s, loading the premium by 2pc a year the longer you wait.

Whatever the merits of this (a better approach would be the "carrot" of increasing tax relief and making plans cheaper), it means the number of those covered has passed the two million mark.

Still, it's a bewildering product that companies complicate with tough terms and conditions. I'm not certain the DIY approach is best as I find even the State's Health Insurance Authority (hia.ie) website asks too few questions.


Renewing automatically is worse. An adviser knows that different plans suit different family members and can understand all those corporate plans too, which many don't realise are available to the public, even though they are priced lower for group use. Try and save money on renewal.

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