Launched in 2003 Bournemouth based Freedom Health Insurance is a viable health insurance alternative to the recognised brands of AXA-PPP, Bupa, Aviva and Vitality. As it’s rare for a client to have heard of the smaller players, we like to visit them so we make sure we’ve got the in-depth knowledge to give confidence to our clients.

Historically Freedom concentrated on policies for individuals and in providing international medical insurance, however, over the last 5 years, under the experienced leadership of MD Alistair Sclare they’ve been making inroads into the company market. Previously Alistair held directorial positions at First Assist, Groupama and Simplyhealth.

So why should you consider Freedom Health Insurance?

Small may not be beautiful if you don’t have the financial muscle to negotiate competitive rates with the private health providers, Freedom deal with this potential issue by having a purchasing allegiance with AXA. The AXA relationship provides the buying power needed to minimise claims costs thus keeping Freedom’s premiums comparable with the big players.

Where small is absolutely an advantage is in service delivery. When assessing potential new clients, the staff of the corporate insurers must follow handed down processes, on the other hand, Freedom’s underwriters can personally review every company medical insurance policy they get to quote for. It means they can respond to the information we share with them, assessing the risk and pricing competitively when the opportunities are attractive.

Policyholders with Freedom can feel secure that their claims will not directly drive up their renewal premium either, Freedom uses a system of “community pricing” meaning the unlucky claimers don’t necessarily see their premiums leap through the roof. This is not the way all insurers work, it’s not uncommon for us to have to discuss renewal premium increases approaching 40% with certain policyholders. Ouch!

And what about when you claim? Whereas some insurers must employ teams of 100s and invest in the latest contact centre technology to provide their high customer service levels Freedom delivers a personalised claim handling service via a team of just 8 led by Dr. Vamsi Krishna. It’s not uncommon for claimants to be dealt with by the same person throughout their treatment which is more difficult when claims are handled by a larger team.

Freedom is not always the best fit for everybody wanting health cover, for instance, their premiums are not competitive in parts of London nor by their own admission is mental health provision a speciality, but they are certainly worth considering if you like the idea of a personalised service.

After meeting with the team at Freedom we left their offices feeling even more confident to recommend them to our clients when there is a clear “fit”. If you are interested in a review of your business health insurance then get in touch.

Martin Blain