Increasing numbers of people have been turning to private healthcare in the 12 months since the first Covid-19 lockdown came into effect, ActiveQuote figures show. Sales in the UK have jumped 44% over the course of the last year and the majority of those investing – around 90% – have never had private health insurance before.
Average premiums have meanwhile fallen by 4% year on year, the UK health and protection comparison website has found, as insurers look to adapt their offering with a new generation of health insurance customer in mind.
Rod Jones, Head of Partnerships at ActiveQuote, said: “While it has been well documented the knock-on effect Covid-19 will have on the NHS and wait times for routine procedures, increasing consumer demand for private health insurance really has never been stronger.
“There can be no doubting the Covid pandemic has changed the consumer landscape, with customers who may have previously been without cover taking out personal health insurance as their employment situation has changed.
“While access to NHS lead healthcare has been restricted due to lockdown, consumers have increasingly turned to the private sector, which has in turn lead the way with virtual GP services in response,” Rod added.
ActiveQuote also found there has been a big change in what the typical private healthcare customer looks like. The average age of policy holder investing in health insurance through ActiveQuote is now 43, with more women taking out policies than men for the first time ever in February 2021.
Rod said: “The feedback we are seeing is that traditionally females have always been happy to book an appointment and visit their local GP, but Covid has removed that accessibility for many.”
“This is just one of the many reasons why 2021 looks like being a big year for the private health insurance market in general, with healthcare continuing to increase in priority for people across the UK. From a consumer perspective, the good news is that anyone else looking to invest in private healthcare can expect increasingly competitive premiums and an ever wider range of services on offer as a result,” Rod added.
“Healthcare providers are working hard to develop new products for a generation of new customers – many of whom simply want affordable health care – and to own their share of the market in doing so, which means lower prices and improved services for all.”
ActiveQuote 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.
For more information visit www.activequote.com