David Wildman, MD of G&M and Martin Blain, MD of Lesson Moore sharing a light moment.

Branding holds immense power over all of us in ways that we sometimes don’t really understand, when recommending a health policy from one of the big boys the mere mention of the name of Aviva, AXA, Bupa or Vitality soothes the client and sets off various associations. Recommend General & Medical and the first reaction is likely to be, “Who? Never heard of ’em”.

Even though they have been around since 1988 they don’t have the brand awareness of a Bupa so our clients expect us to have in-depth knowledge of their processes and strengths. Just because you’ve not heard of them does not mean that you should dismiss niche providers like G&M as they still provide services that compare with their better known competitors and they would argue their services are superior.

Whilst organisations like AXA-PPP have claims handling teams running into the 100s, with General & Medical the team is just 7 and each client is allocated their own named support person. G&M would argue that their members enjoy a personalised service that could not be matched by one of the big boys.

During my visit to G&M’s Peterborough head quarters I made sure that I spent time with Margaret Devlin, who heads up the claims team to go through how the team works. Our clients love to save money on the premiums but it’s when we help somebody with a difficult claim that people often value our services the most.

Martin Blain.