It warned that the pandemic has put the NHS “under tremendous strain”, creating a backlog in cases that will lead to this increased demand.
According to GlobalData’s 2019 UK Insurance Consumer Survey, 29% of private health insurance customers purchased a policy due to concerns regarding NHS waiting times, an increase of 15% against the year prior.
Research by the NHS Confederation also projected that the NHS waiting list is expected to rise from its current level of 4.2 million to ten million by Christmas, with the increase “likely to result” in a surge in demand for private health insurance in the UK.
Nonetheless, the increased interest in policies will “not convert fully” into sales of policies due to the current economic climate, particularly as GlobalData’s survey found the average monthly cost of a single private medical insurance policy was £49.26.
Daniel Pearce, senior insurance analyst at GlobalData, said: “Before Covid-19, growing concerns about NHS waiting times had clearly played a considerable role in driving people to purchase private medical insurance policies.
“Yet, the increased strain that the pandemic has placed on the NHS has the potential to increase the uptake of private medical insurance policies further, particularly given the intensified mainstream media attention on delays to treatment.”
He added: “In the longer term, the private medical insurance market should expect to experience an increase in demand, as the time taken for the NHS to become fully operational again and begin working on delayed cases could outweigh the economic uncertainty faced by households.”