We surgeons tend to be asset rich but time poor.
The majority of us buy our day to day household and general insurance policies on an individual basis and thus fail to take advantage of the considerable buying power inherent in the fact that there are more than 10,000 of us in the UK. This is a significant lost opportunity from which we could all benefit.
The buying power extends not only to savings in each family’s combined insurance premium spend, but also to having a say in the policy design, the types of cover provided and how claims should be settled.
There already exist some modest broker-organised insurance schemes for surgeons (mainly offering medical indemnity rather than personal insurance cover) which demonstrate that the concept of buying power in insurance is not new and can be successful.
However, although notionally constructed for the benefit of surgeons, these schemes are commercial enterprises mainly benefiting their brokers rather than the surgeons they are supposed to serve.
MEDIX: The Opportunity
With the support of the FSSA (Federation of Surgical Specialty Associations) a new company, MediX Cover Limited has been launched. The opportunity is being taken to create an offering/organisation for surgeons from all of the ten Specialty Associations and other related medical professionals.
The offering is spearheaded by three past and present Specialty Association Presidents: Tony Narula (ENT, Nigel mercer (BAPRAS) and John MacFie (ASGBI) and will be designed specifically with our needs in mind and priced on attractive terms, thus providing us with greater control and convenience in our insurance spend. By acting together, we can collectively achieve better outcomes than would be available to us as individuals.
When we operate together, a collection of people such as ourselves has valuable characteristics:
Affinity group: to use insurance parlance, we surgeons are a valuable affinity group. Affinity groups share characteristics which means predicting their behavior is relatively easy; in the insurance world, this means our policies can be priced more easily and therefore more cheaply by the insurance companies. [This is especially the case when we subscribe together to a specially tailored scheme]
HNW: we surgeons are high net worth individuals, and our demographic is known to deliver fewer claims and better loss ratios (i.e. lower payouts relative to the premium charged) than the general public, a phenomenon which can be factored in to the premium negotiations.
Scale: the addition of family members and the potential for “bundled” coverage of more than one policy (e.g. home + car + disability + travel) would generate greater volume and allow the savings to be even greater.
Low churn: members trust their own organisations to deliver fair value and tend not to shop around. Insurers value loyalty and – if asked – will reduce premiums for repeat customers. Or, to put it another way: long term policyholders have the best chance of keeping premiums down if they work in concert through an enthusiastic and knowledgeable intermediary.
Taken together, these characteristics represent a real opportunity to look for lower premiums in our insurance policies. Medix will enable us as surgeons to unlock for our own benefit the considerable value contained within the volume of insurance premiums we pay every year.
Medix will be managed with the interests of surgeons in mind, and thus will be able to determine what coverage is most appropriate for us in the policies it designs. This means that over time policies can be made more and more bespoke to our needs as surgeons, individually and collectively.
- Many of us are lucky enough to own multiple homes, which we guard carefully
- Even more of us own multiple vehicles, but we are usually careful drivers
- We often have young drivers in our families
- We travel frequently, on business and on holiday
- And we have specialist personal needs, such as protection against injury to our thumbs, our dominant hands and our eyes
- Some of us have specialist business needs too, in needing to insure our practice premises and our employees
MediX will design policies to offer solutions that are not available from standard insurers and which individual surgeons might not think to ask for individually. A MediX policy may also make life easier in other ways, for example, by replacing the burden of multiple annual renewal dates with a single policy covering all of our risks on a continuous monthly basis.
The company has been registered and is working with an independent advisory firm, Resolution Partners. It is well on the way to selecting an insurance broking partner who will orchestrate the technical aspects of MediX activities. The intention is to launch the first insurance products in early 2018. Most importantly, apart from the convenience offered by this approach, MediX expects to provide policies with a very attractive balance between the premium paid, the covers offered and the attitude of the insurer to pay out claims. A small amount of the money saved will also be returned to our Association to our mutual benefit.
For further information ahead of product launch, please contact the Association or [email protected]