Private medical insurance (PMI) is “an arcane and dead product”, according to Groupama Healthcare managing director Tim Ablett.
He pointed out the PMI market is unsaturated – only 12 per cent of the UK population is covered. But the self-pay market is growing fast.
He said: “As an industry we have failed to come up with the product our customers want. We are allowing policyholders to find solutions themselves. We must be out of our minds.”
Groupama intends to launch a series of new “holistic” health insurance products in 2002. It is also looking at the long-term care market.
But Ablett said the company is not aiming for rapid growth as it aims to be a long-term niche player.
Ablett also criticised the healthcare insurance market for its “pretty dismal” service levels.
Groupama entered the health insurance sector last year, following the acquisition of the Iron Trades Insurance healthcare account from Australian insurer QBE.
But, as Health Insurance went to press, Groupama Healthcare had yet to announce its new owner, following the decision of its parent company to put it up for sale.