Shire Health & Wellbeing Insights

The importance of Private Medical Insurance during Covid-19

September 14, 2020

The importance of Private Medical Insurance during Covid-19

If there’s one thing that’s become top priority for most of us recently, it’s our health – and for employers, also the health of their staff.

The Covid-19 global pandemic has made us take a closer, slightly uncomfortable look at our own mortality. In turn, many of us are looking at healthcare options in a new light.

One of those options is Private Medical Insurance (PMI), both for individuals and businesses. According to new research, many Brits are considering taking out PMI in the wake of the current pandemic. 

A survey by Consumer Intelligence for insurance provider Equipsme has revealed that 27% of people surveyed were either quite likely or highly likely to pay for Private Medical Insurance in the wake of Covid-19. The same figure pre-coronavirus was 15%.

Interestingly, it’s younger people who expressed the most interest. 30% of respondents aged 18-34 years said they were considering PMI, compared to 22% aged 55 years or over.


of people surveyed were highly likely to pay for PMI in the wake of Covid-19


increase of consideration, in comparison to pre-coronavirus figures


of respondents considering PMI were aged 18-34 years old

The pandemic has undoubtedly placed a huge strain on the UK’s healthcare services. And while the NHS is cherished, many are worried about it. Which is why around four million people in the UK currently pay for private health insurance (and that figure is rising).

PMI offers you, and your family the benefit of faster access to diagnosis and treatment, specialist referrals, and increased options surrounding your care. It takes the worry out of waiting times and puts you more in control of your health and wellbeing.

And it’s not just individuals who benefit. More businesses are offering PMI as part of their employee packages and seeing greater productivity, less absenteeism, better talent retention, and higher staff morale as a result. With employees reaping the rewards for health engagement and seeing perks such as discounted gym membership, they’re likely to be healthier, both mentally and physically, as a result – and therefore more productive. 

As the UK enters the next stage of the Covid-19 crisis and more individuals and employers consider the importance of having private medical insurance, the spotlight is on providers to meet customers’ needs.

We’ve seen a flurry of activity from the sector, such as renewed business continuity plans, reviews of the underwriting processes, premium holidays being offered and amended hedging strategies.

According to a recent poll by Hymans Robertson, insurance companies are putting the interests of their customers first. It revealed that the top priority for insurers for the remainder of 2020 is to review the impact of coronavirus on customers and products.

This means that providers are planning to focus on:

  1. Understanding that lapses will happen as finances are squeezed and helping to offset this impact
  2. Recognising there will be indirect claims arising from lockdown – for example, the negative impact isolation can have on mental health
  3. Making sure that the most vulnerable in society and those with underlying health issues have access to Private Health Insurance when they need it


The pandemic has left many of us feeling uncertain about what the future holds. By taking out Private Medical Insurance, either for yourself or your employees, you can bring back a sense of confidence and certainty about what lies ahead.

To find out more about private medical insurance for you or your business, get in touch with the experts at Shire Health & Wellbeing. We’re experienced health insurance specialists, working with the UK’s leading health insurance providers. Our team of experts, will give you honest advice and the information you need to find the right cover in these unprecedented times.

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