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What Are The Benefits For Global Brokers, Agents And Intermediaries If They Add International Private Medical Insurance (IPMI) To Their Insurance Product Portfolio?

For worldwide insurance brokers, agents and intermediaries that may be interested in IPMI market entry we asked an executive round table of leading insurance underwriters and providers of IPMI about the benefits brokers may expect if they add IPMI to their insurance product portfolio.

Aetna International, Generali Global Health, HealthCare International and Wellaway all had something to say:

Damian Lenihan, Aetna International: IPMI can provide a strong income and revenue stream for brokers. If a customer is buying more than one type of product from the same broker, they are less likely to go elsewhere. So, by employing a consultative approach, brokers can offer more opportunities to their customers.

Stuart Leatherby, Generali Global Health: Selling IPMI allows brokers to provide a more comprehensive solution for their customers. Most companies with over 100 employees will operate in more than one jurisdiction. They will have globally mobile employees who need healthcare protection. Offering a one stop shop solution places more value on a broker and makes it less likely that a customer will use another adviser.

We now operate in a global environment. And IPMI is one of the fastest growing areas of insurance. As IPMI is an expensive commodity it can generate a substantial revenue stream. And its ‘sticky’ nature means that annual churn is less likely.

Steve Gregory, HealthCare International: Like any business, a broker needs to decide for themselves which markets they want to operate within and whether they want to be one-stop-insurance shops catering for all needs, or specialists who focus on specific subjects.

But a compelling argument for getting involved in IPMI can be made, especially when you consider that domestic medical insurance is often stagnant or even shrinking in many mature, developed markets around the world. IPMI on the other hand represents growth as the world shrinks and workforces become more mobile. The demand for international insurance solutions is massive and growing all the time and it’s therefore an opportunity to be grasped by those seeking to expand their insurance base. IPMI represents excitement; energy and opportunity in an industry where these things are rare.

IPMI can create a new revenue stream for brokers willing to invest some time and energy in it. And those who do will also be providing a more comprehensive insurance solution for their new and existing clients – and one that many clients probably expect their broker to be able to offer them. It can be a means to both ring-fence an existing client base from competitors (why look after most of your clients insurance needs when you could look after them all) and at the same time open up new markets and attract new clients.

Whilst it’s true that the greater the effort, the greater the reward, brokers are often surprised to find how much ‘low-hanging fruit’ they have within their existing client bases. This can be as simple as the client who tells them they plan to retire in sunny Spain while their 21 year old has decided to go and live and work in Australia for a couple of years. The broker could say bon voyage and wish them well, but on the other hand they could also just as easily keep them as clients by moving them onto an appropriate IPMI solution for as long as it’s needed.   

Griselle Chernys, Wellaway: A more complete service proposition to their clients by meeting more of their needs.

Interested in IPMI market entry? Achieve in days what normally takes months and miles. Contact us to accelerate IPMI market entry today.

ON THE FRONT COVER: Our intrepid traveller returns with a new business idea: an IPMI brokerage firm. Will he succeed, pass go, collect two hundred pounds or go bust and end up closing down due to BREXIT?

 

 

 

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From A Brokers Perspective The International Private Medical Insurance (IPMI) Market Is An Opportunity Ready To Be Taken

That is, according to Andrew Apps, Head of Global Healthcare at Bellwood Prestbury, when we asked why do global brokers, agents, intermediaries and independent financial advisers choose not to sell international private medical insurance?, at a recent IPMI broker round table.

The Round Table Business Forum spoke to leading IPMI C-suite executives at the heart of global PMI about IPMI distribution trends and how brokers may benefit by adding IPMI to their product portfolio.

Aetna International, Generali Global Health, HealthCare International and Wellaway also had expert IPMI broker advice for those seeking IPMI market entry.

The dialog was as follows:

Question: In your own opinion, why do brokers, agents, intermediaries and independent financial advisers choose not to sell international private medical insurance?

Andrew Apps, Bellwood Prestbury: As an increasing number of governments around the globe move to make medical insurance an integral part of the visa application process (no insurance, no visa), the demand for international private medical insurance (iPMI) has never been greater and there are no signs of this changing any time soon. So why is it that so many brokers choose not to sell iPMI? Part of the problem is perhaps fear of the unknown. A fear of local country regulations. A fear of something different.

The reality however can be very different if you work with the International PMI insurers. They have the knowledge and the experience you might need when facing issues, at least to begin with - with a little patience it won’t take long to become an expert so long as you follow a few basic rules:

  • Just because it happens in the UK, doesn’t mean that it happens overseas.
  • Never be afraid to ask a question of the insurers, no matter how silly it might seem. They want to help.
  • Keep focused on your target market – don’t try to be something you’re not.
  • There are some big schemes out there and it’s easy to become embroiled in a ‘bun fight’ with the local market brokers.
  • Start small, get to know your limitations and look closer to home – the chances are that a number of your UK clients have staff working overseas and need international PMI cover, so start with these and grow you business organically as you learn.

Damian Lenihan, Aetna International: Compliance and training are two common reasons that prevent brokers from selling IPMI products.

Brokers can be concerned about falling foul of regulations in different jurisdictions when writing business overseas. Mis-selling and potential problems with client policies are additional risks that need to be managed.

Lack of familiarity with IPMI causes indecision about where to start, creating barriers to brokers entering the market. Other product lines may be seen as an easier option with IPMI often viewed as a more specialist form of insurance. 

Stuart Leatherby, Generali Global Health: There are several reasons why selling IPMI can be problematic for brokers.

IPMI is much more complex than some other products advisers deal with and has many legal ambiguities, particularly when it comes to such things as portability. It’s also more expensive than domestic PMI and the extra cost requires justification. This means acquiring good product knowledge so that the differences and merits of IPMI over domestic PMI plans can be explained. This makes the selling of this product far less transactional than others.

Regulation is also a barrier. Each country has its own regulatory framework. This makes it difficult to determine where and how a product can be legally sold. And in certain countries, brokers need a specific license or permit to advise on and sell health insurance products.

Steve Gregory, HealthCare International: Based on conversations we’ve had with brokers I believe it’s a combination of factors. I think not understanding the market and concerns about the perceived regulatory risks play a part - and these are perfectly understandable concerns even if they are reasonably easily overcome. But equally some brokers have no great interest in branching out into something new. These brokers will often have an arrangement to refer clients who need IPMI to a colleague who specializes in this market. And then there are the brokers who have either not realized what a good opportunity this market presents to them or who simply don’t know where to start. These are obviously the brokers we try to focus our attention on because we can help them get into this market.  

Griselle Chernys, Wellaway: This is not our experience our brokers sell our products.

ON THE FRONT COVER: Our intrepid traveller returns with a new business idea: an IPMI brokerage firm. Will he succeed, pass go, collect two hundred pounds or go bust and end up closing down due to BREXIT?

 

 

 

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The Benefits Of Providing IPMI To Global Brokers & Agents

In this exclusive C-Suite Executive Round Table Business forum, iPMI Magazine speaks with the world of iPMI - with leading IPMI providers Aetna International, Bellwood Prestbury, Generali Global Health, HealthCare International and Wellaway.

This round table looks at the benefits for worldwide insurance brokers, agents and intermediaries when they add international private medical insurance (IPMI) to their product portfolio.

ON THE FRONT COVER: Our intrepid traveller returns with a new business idea: an IPMI brokerage firm. Will he succeed, pass go, collect two hundred pounds or go bust and end up closing down due to BREXIT?

ANDREW APPS, Head of Global Healthcare at BELLWOOD PRESTBURY told iPMI Magazine, "From a brokers perspective the international private medical insurance (IPMI) market is an opportunity ready to be taken. As an increasing number of governments around the globe move to make medical insurance an integral part of the visa application process (no insurance, no visa), the demand for international private medical insurance (iPMI) has never been greater and there are no signs of this changing any time soon. So why is it that so many brokers choose not to sell iPMI? Part of the problem is perhaps fear of the unknown. A fear of local country regulations. A fear of something different.

The reality however can be very different if you work with the International PMI insurers. They have the knowledge and the experience you might need when facing issues, at least to begin with - with a little patience it won’t take long to become an expert so long as you follow a few basic rules:

  • Just because it happens in the UK, doesn’t mean that it happens overseas.
  • Never be afraid to ask a question of the insurers, no matter how silly it might seem. They want to help.
  • Keep focused on your target market – don’t try to be something you’re not.
  • There are some big schemes out there and it’s easy to become embroiled in a ‘bun fight’ with the local market brokers.
  • Start small, get to know your limitations and look closer to home – the chances are that a number of your UK clients have staff working overseas and need international PMI cover, so start with these and grow you business organically as you learn."

 

 

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