ESMI has launched a range of five new annually renewable products that are available to individuals or on a group basis:
* Sick Pay Available to UK residents aged 18-60, this pays a monthly benefit for up to six months if the client cannot work for more than 30 days due to illness or accident. Two levels of cover are available: Level 1 pays £1,500 per month and Level 2 pays £1,000 per month.
* Every Day This is a health cash plan which pays 100% of dental costs to £150 a year; various sums for dental accident and emergency; 100% of optical costs to £150 a year; 75% of the cost of physiotherapy, osteopathy, chiropractic, acupuncture or homeopathy to £300 a year; 75% of chiropody and podiatry costs to £100 a year; 75% of specialist fees (including diagnostic tests) to £400 a year; £65 a night for hospital inpatient and £40 a day for daypatient treatment (max £2,600 and £400 a year); £25 a night for parental hospital stay (max £700 a year); 75% of GP fees (up to £150 a year) and up to four prescription charges; £200 for each new child, and 75% of health check costs (up to £200 a year). The plan includes access to DAS’s Health and Medical Information & Counselling Service. Various initial qualifying periods apply.
* Surgical Cash This pays a lump sum from £850 to £15,000 (or £200 to £5,000 if NHS treatment) for various surgical procedures, which are split into 12 bands. Chemotherapy and radiotherapy are payable after cancer-related surgery under Band 7 (£7,500 as a private treatment). Exclusions include five types of endoscopy and any sport where a fee is received.
* Life Cover This is a simple term plan that pays either £25,000 or £50,000 (depending on age) or £5,000 on the death of a child, on death before policy renewal after age 68. Premiums are guaranteed for the first five years. Partners and children can be added to the policy.
* Critical 8 This is the only plan where the maximum age at entry is 55. This standalone critical illness product pays on diagnosis of one of eight specified conditions (bacterial meningitis; cancer; coronary artery by-pass graft; heart attack; kidney failure; major organ transplant; multiple sclerosis, and stroke). The plan pays £50,000 to age 50 or £25,000 thereafter. There is a 28 day survival period, but on death in that period £5,000 is paid to cover funeral expenses. Premiums are guaranteed for two years. Children are covered at 25% of the sum insured (max £12,500).
All plans except Every Day have a 3/2/2 year rolling moratorium to exclude pre-existing conditions.
What They Say
ESMI founder Andrew Tripp said: "ESMI is all about ensuring health insurance is accessible to everyone; you can’t predict when an illness will strike but you will plan for it. Our products are designed to help policyholders weather life’s inevitable storms."
What We Say
"It is good to see a new provider emerge and its founder, Andrew Tripp, will be known to many. The idea behind the plans is to offer an alternative to traditional PMI, so offering a different angle compared to most PMI providers.
"Aside from a couple of minor teething issues around the documentation, we have concerns around the use of moratoria, especially on the Life Cover and Critical 8 plans. This could mean a client dying and there being no benefit because their death was related to a longstanding medical condition. The Sick Pay plan too has just a six month benefit period and does not cover unemployment, so its use is relatively restricted.
"The Every Day plan is better, and we like benefits such as paying out £5,000 on death immediately after diagnosis on the CI plan (where ordinarily there would be no benefit). We also like the fact premiums can be paid by card, and a 10% discount for paying annually applies. Overall though this is a disappointing portfolio. Our rating applies just to the Every Day plan."