The average cost of health insurance in the UK is in the region of £1,400 to £1,800 per year* – however, this can depend largely on things such as your age and health.
For a young and fit person in their 20s, it is not uncommon for an annual policy to cost £300 to £500.
However, for a person in their 50s or 60s, one could pay as much as £3,000 or £5,000 per year, depending on different factors.
Your age is one of the biggest factors that determines the cost of your health insurance, on the basis that you are more likely to require treatment as you get older. Whether it is for diagnostic treatment or being more prone to injuries, the likelihood of making a claim rises with age. In fact, it is typical for the price of health cover to be 2x or 3x for those aged 55 to 65, compare to someone aged 25.
Your current health condition will impact your initial quote for health insurance. Those suffering with chronic illnesses or regularly require treatment will have certain exclusions on their policy or will be deemed a higher risk to insure – and this will often be reflected in price.
Some individuals may be more prone to illness or injury, perhaps due to genetics, an inherent condition or disability – and this will could require a higher premium in order to be covered.
If you have a pre-existing condition or have sought treatment before, an insurer may have to price your policy on the event of this recurring and if you require subsequent treatment.
Some treatments are far smaller than others such as temporary neck pain, compared to an internal issue or something that is hard to cure. This will usually be calculated by the insurer and considered in the price you are offered.
For individuals that have a habit of claiming often, this is something that your insurer will take into consideration when you renew or apply for a new policy.
You can also make use of a no claims discount if you can go several years without making a claim and this can reduce your overall premium by 20%, 30% or more.
Those customers that smoke can expect to pay 15% to 50% more on their annual health insurance, also taking into consideration their age, current health and how much they smoke.
Equally, if you quit smoking and can demonstrate that you are in a better state of health, your future premiums can be reduced.
The area you live and its postcode can affect the price of your health insurance, with areas around London likely to incur higher premiums and areas further north and in Northern Ireland offering the lowest premiums.
Being in a heavily populated area with high levels of traffic and congestion can contribute to more health conditions, when compared to living in a quite rural area.
There are a number of ways to reduce the cost of your health insurance policy. Some people can benefit from company health insurance and other work schemes through their employer.
If you can make use of a no claims discount, this can offer a significant saving, but will require you to go several years without making a claim.
A joint policy, with a loved one or family member, can be more cost-effective than purchasing an individual policy.
Finally, if you can commit to paying a higher excess, you are essentially willing to pay more of the costs if you need to make a claim – and your insurer will usually reduce your price quite significantly as a result.