For intermediaries and employee benefits consultants (EBCs) in the UK 2012 has continued to be a tough year. While there is the possibility of growth in the UK corporate healthcare market, it remains static and will likely stay that way for the short to mid-term. With the Eurozone still in crisis, traditional iPMI markets in Europe are also under pressure.
Kevin Melton, sales and marketing director at Axa PPP explained in Money Marketing that intermediaries and EBCs should be looking further afield for opportunities. The BRIC economies and Asia Pacific nations continue to attract multinational companies and this will lead to future business for iPMI companies.
The iPMI market comprises two segments. The expatriate side, when UK employers send workers, and often their families, abroad. Then there is new business in emerging markets. This involves UK based underwriters working with local providers to offer products and services that match the needs of the local population.
Melton said, “There’s no reason why UK-based intermediaries and EBCs shouldn’t consider the opportunities in international markets too – either directly or by working in partnership with overseas distributors.”
With overseas expat assignments increasing and many UK companies looking abroad to ensure future business, intermediaries and EBCs should look to this market for opportunities. Insurance providers with a strong global presence can guarantee their client’s employees have access to healthcare facilities wherever they are in the world. Insurers working in an international market are able to provide additional services, such as translators and local knowledge of the healthcare systems.
“There’s never been a better time for intermediaries and EBCs to increase the value they bring to their clients by demonstrating their capability to advise on international healthcare cover,” said Melton.