Boots the Chemists is to sell healthcare cash plans across the counter in an innovative new venture announced recently.
Five health insurance products will be available in 250 of Boots’ largest stores. The cash plans comprise Family Health, Dental, Pregnancy, Child Injury and Accident Customers receive instant cover after completing the application form. Once paid for at the till, the receipt acts as proof of purchase.
Royal & Sun Alliance is underwriting the schemes and providing the claims service. It will also train Boots’ staff to give advice to customers in store. Cover can be arranged by post or phone. There is a 30 day cooling off period.
Francis Thomas, group media relations manager at Boots, predicted approximately 250,000 policies will be sold in the first year. He expects one million to have been purchased by the fifth year.
Thomas emphasised the need for Boots to maintain its reputation as a reliable brand name: “The principle is the same as buying shampoo, the customer trusts us to get it right. We recognise the responsibility placed on us.”
Royal & Sun Alliance have written to all of its agents informing them of its affiliation with Boots. Health account manager for the broker division, Ian Hancock, said brokers had viewed the initiative in a positive way: “Royal & Sun Alliance use different distribution methods to get to the market. A lot of our work is with specific brokers, mainly around corporate group business. We don’t have so much contact with the individual. Our partnership with Boots complements our objectives and approach to the UK healthcare market.”