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Universal Provident keeps PMI rates frozen

Universal Provident keeps PMI rates frozen

The majority of business rates at Universal Provident have been frozen for almost a year, Dale Tranter has said.

The assistant group underwriting manager said by fixing private medical insurance rates again ahead of its 1 July rate review, the provider would not have put its new business rates up for more than a year.

Meanwhile, group rates for its 90-day wait (A2) module are being reduced by 7.5 per cent. Universal Provident gives corporate rates to the self-employed, treating them as a single entity.

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This means that, for example, a 35-year-old self-employed person will be able to get a plan that would potentially fully cover a hip or knee replacement for just £16.43 a month. Even a 65-year old would only have to pay £22.70 a month for a 90-day wait policy.

He added: “Fixing rates again underlines our commitment to having a competitive proposition and writing significant volumes of new business.”

Adviser view

Ben Tillett, healthcare consultant for Poole-based The Coleman Group, said: “I have dealt with Universal Provident and the company is not difficult to deal with. However, I think PMI is a price-driven market. It is all well and good freezing or cutting rates, but even so I do not think Universal Provident’s rates stack up that competitively.

“New business in the PMI market is few and far between. Over the past four to five years we have seen the market starting to shrink – some cash-rich people will look at self-pay options, where they walk into private hospitals and do a package deal there and then.”