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Pick ’n’ mix health insurance can save you hundreds a year

Sam Barker
Buying cover in sections makes premiums more affordable - Christopher Jones

People put off from buying costly health insurance could save hundreds of pounds with a new approach that allows customers to choose the specific cover they want.

Health insurance typically comes as a bundle of policies that each pay out for different conditions, which makes it expensive.

The average yearly premium is £1,435, according to research from broker Bought By Many. Just 6pc of Britons have health cover.

But insurance firms are beginning to tackle the problem by letting customers take a pick ’n’ mix approach and only buy what they want. Some insurers, such as Bupa, let customers pick extra cover only on top of a basic bundle of policies that cannot be split up.

But Lime is the first insurer to start selling stand-alone policies, and has started offering cancer cover from £2.03 a month.

Shaun Williams, of Lime, said: “Cancer often has a huge financial impact on families when patients need to stop work temporarily or permanently after diagnosis.”

Within the next six months, the firm will launch other deals, such as life insurance and cover for mental health, dental treatment and physiotherapy.

Matthew Howells, of Baker Hudson Health, a broker, said: “Any product that can help to alleviate pressure on the NHS is a good thing and should be welcomed. I do not see these sorts of plans as an alternative to private health insurance.

“However, it is a fantastic option for people who don’t currently have private medical insurance and are looking for some level of peace of mind but can’t afford full cover.”

Andrew Leach, of SJA Health Insurance, a broker, said: “This could be quite good for people who can’t afford it normally. Then again, if people are only paying a small amount, they may say, ‘I could just save that and use the NHS.’ ”