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PMI from National Friendly


Higher limits.Premiums have gone up.
Optional extended hospital list.Not everyone will need, value or want to pay for higher limits.
Choice of cover options and excesses.Outpatient limits remain relatively low.

The Product

Bristol-based mutual National Friendly has increased the level of cover for its Optimum In/Day-Patient Plan from £250,000 to £1 million, and new policyholders can now opt to have an extended hospital list too.

Although premiums have risen, the extended hospital list includes a selection of hospitals in Central London, which had previously been excluded. National Friendly says 48% of its current Optimum policyholders live in Greater London.

In addition, the Out-Patient Plan has been improved, and now gives customers a choice of either a £2,000 or £5,000 cover limit each policy year, albeit again with an increased premium.

National Friendly has two private medical insurance policies that between them cover prompt access to a GP or consultant for diagnosis, a variety of outpatient treatments and a range of private inpatient and daypatient treatments and operations.

What they say

Head of sales and marketing Wayne Carter said: “With cover levels now lifted to a competitive £1 million on our In/Day-Patient Plan, as well as a £5,000 cover option on our Out-Patient Plan, added to that the option to upgrade your hospital list to include all major London hospitals, we think the latest version of Optimum offers one of the most compelling combinations of cover and top quality customer service.”

What we say

Offering more central London hospitals (for which read ‘more expensive’) is costly, so it makes sense to offer them just to those prepared to pay extra. As almost half of National Friendly’s Optimum customers live in London, that’s a good move.

Having higher limits is also valuable, and some treatment can work out very expensive.

The downside is higher premiums and, although PMI premiums typically rise faster than inflation anyway, any further increase is always unpopular.