Pacific Prime has recently been named the "Top New Business producer" for travel insurance in 2013 by IHI Bupa. Pacific Prime's CEO, Neil Raymond, comments on the award and explains why the IHI Bupa travel plan is so attractive for travelers.
Pacific Prime has recently received a travel award from IHI Bupa for 2013. What is this award all about?
Pacific Prime has been a big supporter of IHI Bupa's travel insurance plan for a number of years and we won this award for being the biggest distributor of IHI Bupa's travel plan in 2013. We're incredibly proud to have won the award, and we will continue to advise travelers about the benefits of this plan. It is by far one of the top selling policies at Pacific Prime.
So what makes IHI Bupa's plan so attractive for travelers?
Well the IHI Bupa travel plan is actually quite unique in the market. First of all, it's backed by an incredibly good insurer, IHI Bupa, a very trusted brand with tremendous service capabilities and a big global support network, but secondly, the plan itself is simply an amazing plan. From an inpatient perspective, the medical benefits are unlimited, which is unique in the market. That is particularly important when going to places like America, Hong Kong, or China, where the cost of private healthcare and emergency healthcare is incredibly expensive. For most travel plans that people buy either in the UK or Hong Kong, the actual limits on the benefits can be very restrictive, and that might get you into trouble in the case of a serious incident, whereas the IHI plan is incredible.
There's also a variety of other benefits to the IHI plan that make it one of the most attractive plans for travelers. Whereas most travel plans exclude maternity, the IHI plan can actually cover maternity cases up to 36 weeks for emergencies. The plan can also cover you for pre-existing conditions, subject to medical underwriting, most extreme sports, which is pretty rare, and most occupations. The travel plan can go up to 365 days, which is pretty unusual as well; most plans cap out at 30, 60, or 90 days, whereas the IHI plan can go up to a full year. So, for these reasons, it's a great plan, and we find for a lot of our clients, it's actually very suitable. While it's not the lowest cost option in the market, it's unbeatable if you're looking for a good travel plan.
Is it easy to take out the plan?
The plan is very versatile as well in that you can buy it almost any country for most travel destinations. Most travel plans today are restricted to where the insurer is located, whereas the IHI plan is available in many locations.
The plan is actually a part of Bupa, so the claims process is normally extremely good. It can often arrange direct settlements to hospitals if necessary, and there are a lot of good emergency evacuation cases where they've assisted and supported clients to be relocated in fairly extreme circumstances. This once again comes from the breadth of the IHI Bupa organization.
Does the plan offer any benefits other than medical?
The plan actually comes in a unique modular form. The core benefits are the inpatient medical benefits, but on top of that you can also add outpatient benefits and more traditional travel benefits such as cancellations, baggage, liability, delay, etc. Very often people aren't looking for these extra benefits and are only looking for the medical, and the great thing about this plan is that it allows you to do just that. It's a big reason why these plans sell so well at PP.
Is the plan sold on a per trip basis or an annual basis?
You can actually do both. You can buy the plan on a per trip basis up to a number of days. You can actually buy the plan once you've left home with three days notice, and you can also extend the plan on the go. So, if you're already traveling and you want to add on a number of days, IHI Bupa will allow you do to that, which is a rare service.
Not only can you buy the plan on a per trip basis, but you can also buy it on an annual basis as well. When you buy an annual plan, you can go on as many trips as you like, though there's a maximum limit on the duration of a single trip. That is a nice way to buy it for people who do a lot of traveling. It's this versatility with the plan that makes it so appealing to different segments of the travel market.
What does the future hold in store for Pacific Prime and IHI Bupa?
Overall the health insurance market is growing substantially, not only the annual health insurance policies but the travel insurance business as well. A plan with the unique benefits such as IHI Bupa's is very attractive for travelers, so we look forward to selling a lot more of their travel insurance plans in the rest of 2014 and hopefully we can win the award again next year!