How to reduce the cost of Private Medical Insurance

If you are considering Private Medical Insurance (PMI) for the first time, it pays to do some research if you want to save money on your premium. Insurers now offer a wide range of medical cover to suit a variety of budgets and it can be a daunting prospect to find the policy and price that is right for you.

Do you want a safety net for when the NHS cannot deliver treatment on time? Do you want cover for everything? How much excess can you afford to pay? Do you want an insurance company that rewards healthy behaviour?

When it comes to selecting a provider, needless to say you should shop around. It is something we often don’t do enough and can lead to major savings on your premium. Use a reputable online comparison site that can look at different providers for you.

If you already have medical insurance, check whether you are getting the best deal and consider swapping. Private Medical Insurance tends to increase as you get older, particularly over 55 when you are more likely to claim. Swapping your insurance provider can get you a lower premium and may even lead to better cover if you do your research properly.

With flexible options available from most providers, there are a number of ways to save on the premium for your PMI:

  1. Check for a company that rewards you for staying healthy. A few now offer discounts for customers who exercise regularly, eat healthily and have yearly health check-ups.
  2. Increase your excess. As with most insurances, the higher your excess, the lower the premium.  Similarly, you can opt to pay a certain percentage of treatment costs should you fall ill.
  3. Go for delayed treatment cover. You can pay a lower premium if you only want to be seen privately when the NHS cannot deliver treatment within a certain time frame.
  4. Do you need full medical coverage? You might only want to be covered for major illnesses such as heart disease or cancer.
  5. If you want to be diagnosed quickly there are cheaper policies that cover consultations and tests leading to diagnosis but not treatment. There is also cover for treatment without diagnostic costs.
  6. Does the provider offer a no claims discount? Similar to car insurance, this can provide you with significant savings over time if you have not made a claim.
  7. You can opt to restrict yourself to lower-grade hospital accommodation – limiting your choice of hospital can bring down your premiums.
  8. Happy to travel? Some insurance companies offer reduced premiums if you have certain treatments abroad where the medical costs are cheaper.

Most Private Medical Insurance companies currently offer a variety of cover options. If you know what you are looking for and are prepared to do a little work, you can find a number of ways of reducing the cost of premiums whilst ensuring that you are covered for what you need.