Living healthy – eating clean and exercising – has become a major trend in the past few years in the UK. Organic food, healthy lifestyle social media stars, clean eating cookbooks, running/diet apps and new gyms springing up; all of these are contributing to the health trend sweeping the nation.
The 2012 London Olympics have played their part too – many saw a momentum carried on from the games with regard to sport and participation all over the country.
A 2014 UK government report indicated that more Britons are also playing sport than ever before, with 15.6 million people aged 16 and over taking part in sport at least once a week – 1.7 million more than in 2005 when London won the bid to host the Games. This works out as about a 10% improvement – quite impressive!
Previously the Private Medical Insurance (PMI) industry had taken some flak for charging an unhealthy, overweight person with a greater propensity to get unwell, the same as a healthy person that keeps fit.
Many felt that this was unfair.
Many Health insurers have taken this on board, and have begun to offer discounts and incentives for people to stay fit and healthy whilst on a policy. This benefits both parties.
Leading the charge in this trend among insurers is Vitality (formerly Pru Health). Their flagship programme offers a wealth of health benefits and incentives including:
For example, many insurers will now give you discounts on your premium for having a healthy weight (BMI).
One of our insurers, The Exeter, offer a discount on their PMI policies for having a BMI of less than 32.
Some insurers on our panel, such as WPA, will actually only take you on as a customer if you have a BMI of between 19 and 35.
This focus on BMI stems from the science of health, which says that obesity is one of the worst conditions that a person can have for their health (after smoking). The less active and clean livingyou are, the more likely you are to have health issues. This means a greater pay out for the insurer. Hence, they charge you more for being overweight.
If you’ve made a significant lifestyle change – like losing a significant amount of weight, or quitting smoking – since arranging your cover, it could be worth shopping around for a better deal.
Our trained advisers can help you survey the market comprehensively, and to find the best deal possible; both in terms of price and level of cover.