This year’s Health Insurance Awards produced a host of worthy winners, while the night itself has generated excited discussion and debate across the industry.
Outlandish antics from the host for the evening, TV celebrity Justin Lee Collins (pictured right), had the audience of 880 industry professionals agog, as winners from the intermediary and provider communities gamely received their awards in a range of categories.
It was a hugely successful evening for the West Country, with Bristol’s own Lee Collins handing out a clutch of awards and highly commendeds to intermediaries and providers from that part of the country.
BCWA, the Bristol-based private medical expenses provider, was named Health Insurance Company of the Year. Jelf Group plc, also headquartered in Bristol, won the Health Insurance Intermediary of the Year Award for the second year running. Other winners from the West Country included Canada Life for Best Use of ebusiness, while the provider also performed strongly in the Best Group Critical Illness Provider, Best Use of Marketing to Intermediaries and Best Group Income Protection Provider categories.
After picking up the award for Best Individual Critical Illness Provider, Steve Casey, product marketing manager for Bupa Individual Protection, also based in Bristol, said: “We regard the Health Insurance Awards as the Oscars of the whole industry and we’d like to thank our intermediary supporters who voted for us.”
Other winners on the night included Norwich Union Healthcare, which scooped the Best Group PMI Provider and Best Occupational Health Provider awards, while Unum won the Best Group Income Protection Provider award for the eleventh year running.
Norwich Union Healthcare was also highly commended in the best Use of Marketing to Intermediaries and Best Customer Service categories.
Mark Noble, sales and marketing director for Norwich Union Healthcare, said the evening is an excellent opportunity to celebrate the vital partnership between intermediaries and providers.
He said: “Eighty five per cent of our new business comes from our intermediary partners, so intermediaries are really important to our growth. On the PMI side, the modular product that we offer allows them to tailor the proposition to their clients and it works really well. Because of that and because of the relationship we’ve got with intermediaries means that we’ve been able to grow significantly over the last couple of years.”
Iain Laws, director of Enrich Reward, the benefits consultancy formerly known as Gissings Advisory Services, was also celebrating, after his organisation won the Best Health Management at Work Intermediary and Best Group Income Protection Intermediary awards.
He said: “I’ve had a fantastic evening. The Health Insurance Awards is the event of the year for our industry. It’s an opportunity to connect and to celebrate the contribution the industry makes to the nation.”
Val Gooding, the former chief executive of Bupa, was named Health Insurance Personality of the Year for her “ambassadorial” work at home and abroad for the private healthcare and insurance industries.
Meanwhile, there are some exciting new developments planned for next year’s event which will be held once again in October. Watch out for news of that in future issues and on www.hi-mag.com. A special supplement to celebrate the Awards has been included with this issue – look out for your copy or check the website for an electronic version.