In the article International Health Insurance 2021 IPMI market report author Ian Youngman, looks at the latest developments in the international private medical insurance market including:
- The recent Bupa/Generali deal;
- British expatriates in Spain;
- Changes to the law for foreign investors in Indian insurance companies;
- How health insurance premiums will grow in China;
- Opportunities in Health Insurance in Iran.
British expats in Spain
In 2020 there were 360,000 British expats in Spain. Some work there and some retire to there.
Many have a UK home and a Spanish home. They spend 6 months in the UK and 6 months in Spain. This worked when the UK was in the EU. Now they have to choose between living in Spain full time or for less than 3 months. Many are selling up in Spain.
This will hit the IPMI market for those small UK agencies targeting British expats.
Bupa and Generali
There have been rumours on the grid for months that Generali was getting out of writing IPMI.
The Bupa/Generali deal allows Generali to concentrate on other areas it is better and bigger at - while allowing Bupa to enter or expand in many countries without having to build or increase a local infrastructure.
Global IPMI is now something you can no longer dabble in. You either commit globally or where you want to be. So I expect more insurer/insurer deals.
Yes, an insurer can decide only to offer IPMI in select countries. That works for individuals and SMEs. But what happens when your biggest corporate customers decide to become major players in a country where you have withdrawn from or refuse to enter, and you need a local base or partner as offshore IPMI is not allowed?
Indian Insurance Companies (Foreign Investment) Amendment Rules, 2021 apply to new and existing insurers with foreign shareholders.
This increased the foreign investment ceiling from 49% to 74% in the insurance industry from May 2021, as the government seeks capital injections and growth in the insurance sector.
Indian insurance companies that have foreign investors must have the majority of their directors and key management persons as resident Indian citizens. At least one of the following – board chairperson, managing director, or CEO – must also meet the citizenship requirements.
Insurers have until May 2022 to comply with these new rules.
Several IPMI insurers have started the process of increasing their stake in Indian subsidiaries.
Health insurance premiums in China will grow by 14% annually over the next 10 years, and China's share of global health premiums will rise from less than 2% today to 4.2% in 2029, forecasts Swiss Re Institute (SRI) in a Sigma report.
In China, new business will support double-digit growth in PMI premiums. State figures say that by end 2021 1.4 billion people have health insurance plus 236 million with maternity insurance.
In spite of fast-growing household incomes and also insurance penetration, a still-large health protection gap in China exists. The development of private health insurance, in particular products for the fast-growing middle-income class, is a key to closing the gap. The experience of China in effecting greater uptake of private health insurance has reduced high out of pocket expenses.
Foreign ownership in China is complex but IPMI insurers see this as a massive market
Hiss boo - the pantomime villain of the world, if you only read Western media.
The second biggest economy in the Middle East is making massive progress on its own and by new deals with Russia and China on infrastructure and trade, and hard currency that the US and Europe thought they had cut off.
The US, after its massive success in Afghanistan and Iraq somehow thinks it can bring about regime change by economic and political pressure - dream on.
While European and US insurers are banned from Iran by their governments - expect Chinese health insurers to move in.
So if you are a US or EU insurer – if you own or part own a Chinese insurer- it can write offshore business in Iran!
Leading international private medical insurance publisher iPMI Magazine is excited to announce the launch of the “International Health Insurance 2021" IPMI market report written by leading insurance and healthcare analyst Ian Youngman.
There are now 80 million expatriates, 5 million international students, 4 million temporary foreign workers, and 18 million high net worth individuals of which 2.7 million are ultra high net worth. All of these are targets for international private medical insurance.
How To Buy International Health Insurance (IPMI) 2021
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About The Author
Ian Youngman is a writer and researcher specialising in insurance. He writes regularly for a variety of magazines, newsletters, and on-line services. He publishes a range of market reports and undertakes research for companies and has London market management experience with brokers and insurers.