The number of people buying private health insurance for the first time has doubled since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, according to leading UK protection comparison site ActiveQuote. The trend is set to continue in the UK as the NHS continues to shield itself from physical contact with patients and a backlog of missed GP and specialist consultations is almost certainly leading to thousands of cases of serious illness going undetected – for now.
Those with money are likely to vote with their wallets, for as much as the NHS is revered in the UK, self-preservation will drive people to seek a rapid answer to a niggling pain, lump or medical problem this year. Sales of Private Medical Insurance (PMI) to first-time customers were up on average by 100% across November, December and January this year, says ActiveQuote, compared to the amount coming through at the beginning of the pandemic across March, April, and May 2020.
This newfound consumer interest in PMI shows no signs of slowing in 2021 either, with private healthcare sales to first-time buyers up 32% between December and January alone.
Rod Jones, Head of Partnerships at ActiveQuote, said: “We know the tide has been turning for a while when it comes to private healthcare and, with figures like these, it certainly feels like the public has woken up to the benefits of PMI.
“There can be no denying that attitudes towards private healthcare have changed significantly since Covid-19 arrived in the UK, and the statistics continue to show us that consumers are more committed than ever to making sure their needs are taken care of come what may. What’s also encouraging, from an industry and consumer perspective, is that significant rises in the number of first-time buyers investing in private healthcare means more are realising not only the true value of having these policies in place, but just how affordable and accessible a lot of them are too,” Rod added.
“This is a positive development not only when it comes to future markets, therefore, but for customers too, who can expect PMI to be an increasingly affordable option available to ever greater numbers as a direct consequence of this continuing increase in take up.”
As the UK’s leading comparison website and broker of health and protection insurance products, ActiveQuote has been working closely with its partner insurers to help meet increasing demands in the PMI market since the pandemic broke out. It is the UK’s leading comparison website and broker of health and protection insurance products, including private medical insurance, income protection, life insurance and critical illness cover.