The first annual International Insurance Review, conducted by Globalsurance has been released. The study looked at rates of premium inflation within the International Private Medical Insurance (iPMI) industry. Using nearly 8,000 data points from eight leading insurers, Globalsurance have revealed iPMI premiums are increasing at an average rate of 10.8 percent per year around the world.
Pricing data included 10 selected countries in Asia, the Middle East, Europe, South America and Africa, and the following insurance providers: Allianz, AETNA, IHI, InterGlobal, AXA PPP, William Russell, DKV Globality, and BUPA.
The survey showed the highest levels of premium inflation occur in Hong Kong, an average of 12.7 percent annually. The countries with the lowest rate of premium inflation are Kenya and the Philippines.
In terms of the individual insurance company with the highest premium increases over the 5 year average, it is IHI at an average 13 percent per year, with AETNA coming second having levied annual average premium increases of roughly 11.9 percent.
Globalsurance believes the premium inflation rates being seen are a result of several things.
- Greater demand than supply. This pushes up the cost of healthcare and is driven by the increasing number of expatriate and high net worth individuals around the world.
- The iPMI products themselves driving up costs through high coverage policies which allow healthcare providers charge high prices for services.
- The fact policyholders can seek treatment outside their low-cost countries and they are increasingly choosing expensive countries in which to seek treatment.
With total average increases of iPMI premiums currently standing at 10.8 percent per year it is seen that the cost of international medical insurance policies are increasing faster than the wages of the global expatriates and high net-worths these plans are intended to serve. This brings into question the sustainability of these premium increases over the long term.