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Fairer Finance launches Health Insurance product ratings

Independent consumer ratings website, Fairer Finance, has launched a new range of product ratings for Health Insurance products

A photo of Daniel Sharpe-Szunko, the author

By Daniel Sharpe-Szunko

Published on: 16 November 2023

6 min read

Fairer Finance launches Health Insurance product ratings

Independent consumer ratings website, Fairer Finance, has launched a new range of product ratings for Health Insurance products, including AXA, Bupa, The Exeter, and Vitality as the top rated providers currently.

To us, it seems a bit crazy that a financial review site the size of Fairer Finance has only just launched this particular rating for Health Insurance, especially considering the amount of these policies sold in the UK. Better late than never, and at least this gives another independent and impartial consumer view on health insurance products.

Health insurance (also known as Private Medical Insurance) gives you fast access to specialists and private hospital treatment. More and more consumers are turning to health insurance to protect themselves and their families health by avoiding long NHS waiting times as well as getting access to higher levels of medical care.

Fairer Finance is an independent research and ratings agency for consumers to empower them to make more informed choices. They also suggest that they encourage financial services businesses to focus on more than just price to enhance customer experience.

The organisation was originally established in 2014 by a group of financial services experts and financial journalists to improve consumer trust towards banks and insurers.

Ratings provided by Fairer Finance are specifically designed to help consumers to make better informed choices, but this should not be construed as advice or recommendations. Personal finance is complicated and everyone’s circumstances are different, so the purpose of these independent ratings is to cut through the complexities of financial products.

Health insurance is one of the most complicated personal protection policies, because of the number of options you can choose and how much products vary between insurers. One of the biggest issues with choosing the right health insurance policy is it’s very difficult to know which one is best for you.

Ratings services like the Fairer Finance health insurance provides consumers with an independent perspective on which products and providers are the best. While this is not an exact science and there are still other elements to consider, it can be used as a guide to help give you the reassurance that you need.

If you’re looking for health insurance for you, your family, or your business, then you can use this ratings service as a guide to help make the right choices.

There are several independent financial services review services that can be used to gather information about health insurance.

  • Defaqto is the most common and well-known service that provides a 5 star rating system used by health insurance providers to rate the quality of its products. The experts at Defaqto choose between 30 to 100 features and benefits, every policy on the market is then scored on this basis, before finally applying a rating from 1 to 5 for simplicity.

  • Which? is the UK’s consumer champion for health insurance and everything for personal finances. On the Which? best private health insurance guide you can find out how these policies work, what’s covered and the top rated insurers from thousands of independent customer reviews.

Other sources of information for health insurance include:

British Insurance Brokers' Association Logo

Contact BIBA

Tel: 0370 950 1790 (Find Insurance)
Tel: 0370 950 1790 (General Enquiries)

British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA)

The British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA) is a British organisation that covers all insurance brokers in the United Kingdom and their customers. They work hard to ensure there is fair treatment within the insurance industry and they can be a useful resource for insurance information.

If you’re struggling to find the insurance information you need, BIBA can search their members for an insurance broker who could help you.

According to the BIBA website, they receive hundreds of thousands of enquiries about insurance services from consumers every year.

This is known as their ‘Find Insurance’ service and their support is available both online and over the phone, so you can get in touch in the way that best suits you.

Association of British Insurers Logo

Contact The ABI

Tel: 0370 950 1790

The Association of British Insurers (ABI)

The Association of British Insurers (ABI) is a trade organisation that has more than 200 members across the UK. Their members include various insurance companies and organisations.

Their aim is to act as a voice for the insurance industry and to start important conversations with policy makers and regulators to promote fair and honest practices.

As a key figure in the UK insurance industry, the Association of British Insurers collects a massive amount of data and information related to insurance policies. Their website includes helpful guides about various types of insurance and the latest industry data.

If you would like to find out more about a specific type of insurance and who sells it, it can be worth approaching the ABI for useful information.

The new independent health insurance rating tool on Fairer Finance uses a 5 star rating system. For a health insurance provider to achieve a five star rating, its products must meet all of the ‘red line’ criteria. The red lines for health insurance are the product features that Farah finance considers to be important for customers.

This therefore means that the more comprehensive an insurance product is, on the broader the cover that it offers, then the more likely it is for it to achieve a five star rating. It has been made deliberately tough for a health insurance product to meet all of the red line criteria, and I limit 15% of products at any market can hit five stars.

For a health insurance provider to achieve 5 stars, its policies must have:

1. Comprehensive in-patient cover

This means that there should be no limits on the amount of surgeries that are covered every year, and all drugs, dressings, and scans are all included within the policy. The health insurance product must also offer, or have as an optional benefit, mental health in-patient treatment.

2. Comprehensive out-patient cover

This means that there should be no limits on all our patient scans and but the policy includes, or offers the options of adding, physiotherapy and mental health treatment for out-patients.

3. Comprehensive cancer care

A policy should offer full cancer cover for chemotherapy and radiotherapy, as well as covering genetic testing, bone strengthening drugs, and monitoring post cancer treatment.

4. Other key benefits

Policies must also include unlimited video and telephone consultations with a GP or medical professional.

Policies must provide cash benefits for policyholders receiving NHS treatments, as well as for parents needing accommodation whilst a child is receiving treatment in hospital.

Policy holders must not be restricted to a hospital list (i.e. they should be allowed to use a range of hospitals of their own choice).

A policy holder must do not be required to get NHS treatment before they are entitled to private hospital treatment (Certain health insurance policies will only cover treatment costs if the patient cannot be treated on the NHS within a period of time).

Currently there are five health insurance policies that meet the new 5 star health insurance rating system from Fairer Finance. The health insurance products meeting the new criteria include AXA Health For You, AXA Personal Health, Bupa by You Comprehensive, The Exeter Health+, and Vitality Personal Healthcare.

ProviderPolicyPhysiotherapy CoverVirtual GP ServiceRadio-therapyChemo-therapyStar Rating
AXAHealth For YouOptionalUnlimitedFull CoverFull Cover 5*
AXAPersonal HealthOptionalUnlimitedFull CoverFull Cover 5*
BupaBy You Comprehensive IncludedUnlimitedFull CoverFull Cover 5*
The ExeterHealth+OptionalUnlimitedFull CoverFull Cover 5*
VitalityPersonal HealthcareOptionalUnlimitedFull CoverFull Cover 5*

The health insurance five star rating system has also highlighted the importance of reading your documentation very carefully. In another comparison chart from Fairer Finance (see below) you could say the percentage of products that fell short of the requirements.

percentage of products that fell short of the Fairer Fax PMI requirements

Click here to see the Fairer Finance full product rating tables for health insurance.

Click here to see the Fairer Finance rating methodology for health insurance.

The best way to compare health insurance products

If you need more information or for proper advice about health insurance, you should speak to a health insurance expert. When speaking to a medical insurance specialist, you should be able to compare all of the top providers and products in one go.

For health insurance advice, you can speak to the experts on 0800 009 6559 or CLICK HERE.

More health insurance news and guides

Here’s some more recent news stories about UK health and health insurance policies.

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