You can buy health insurance in three ways: direct from the company; from an independent financial adviser or through an agent - typically a bank, building society or a retailer. In all cases, you may be buying over the phone, face to face, via the internet or by post.
Once you are issued with your policy documents you usually have at least 14 days in which you can cancel the plan - regardless of how you bought the policy. There are financial advisers who specialise in health insurance - as readily found on the web. Just like every other type of insurance, the sale and operation of health insurance is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. This means that you have access to the Financial Ombudsman Service if you have a complaint about how you were sold your plan or if you have complaints about your claim. And as with any other insurance, your first port of call for making a complaint is the company itself or, if it relates to the sale of the plan, the adviser who sold it to you. If you aren´t satisfied with the outcome of the company´s internal complaints procedure, then you can go to the Financial Ombudsman who will look into the matter for you. Straightforward health insurance complaints (as opposed to those dealing with critical illness insurance) are only a small part of the Ombudsman´s caseload as generally these days policies are written so clearly that there can be little confusion as to what is and isn´t covered. Problems can however stem from policyholders who fail to disclose all their health details to their insurer when they were sold the plan. If you don´t give accurate details of your health, you risk the insurer turning down your claim at a later date. If in doubt of a past illness´s relevance, then disclose it.
View WPA´s health insurance cover for the self-employed
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