Thursday, June 28, 2007

ABI: Popularity of personal private medical insurance grows

For the first time in recent years, the number of subscribers to personal Private Medical Insurance (PMI) policies has grown year-on-year. Latest figures from the ABI show that in 2006, 1,030,000 people subscribed to personal PMI policies, an increase of 1.8% from 1,012,000 in 2005. Personal and corporate PMI plans now cover 5.9 million UK adults and children.

Commenting on the data, Nick Starling, the ABI’s Director of General Insurance and Health, said:

“Private Medical Insurance offers people greater choice of treatment and other services for a wide range of medical conditions and injuries. It also takes pressure off the NHS, so by buying PMI, people are effectively reducing the burden on Britain’s hard-pressed health service.

“It is encouraging that more individuals are choosing to buy PMI for themselves and their families. PMI bought by companies on behalf of their employees has continued to increase in popularity too, helping to ensure that people can get back to work sooner after illness or injury.”

- ENDS -

Notes for Editors

1. The ABI has revised its data for corporate PMI in order to separate out all healthcare trust business. Previously, some companies had included healthcare trust business (schemes administered, but not underwritten, by insurers) in their PMI returns to the ABI. From now on we will publish data separately for 1) the total number of people covered by personal and corporate PMI schemes and 2) those covered specifically by corporate trust schemes.

2. In 2006, there were a total of 3,375,000 subscribers to PMI policies, up by 3.3% from 3,266,000 in 2005. This comprised 1,030,000 personal and 2,345,000 corporate subscribers, up from 1,012,000 personal (up 1.8%) and 2,254,000 corporate (up 4.1%) respectively in 2005.

3. Gross earned premiums in 2006 totalled £3.071bn, up by 4.4% from £2.942bn in 2005. Individual premiums rose by 4.2% from £1.449bn in 2005 to £1.509bn in 2006, while corporate premiums rose by 4.6% from £1.493bn in 2005 to £1.561bn in 2006.

4. A table giving full details of PMI sales, subscribers and people covered is available on the ABI web site,

5. The ABI is the trade association for Britain’s insurance industry. Its nearly 400 member companies provide over 91% of the insurance business in the UK. It represents insurance companies to the Government, and to the regulatory and other agencies, and is an influential voice on public policy and financial services issues. ABI member companies hold up to a sixth of all investments traded on the London Stock Exchange, on behalf of millions of pensioners and savers.

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