Can you trust a health insurance broker?

Story by Chris Quinn

When you think of a health insurance salesperson, what’s the first word that springs to mind? Dishonest? Pushy? Nuisance? How about knowledgeable consultant who abides by a series of rules set out by the Private Health Insurance Intermediaries Association (PHIIA)… Trusting a stranger at the other end of the phone with your health cover goes against all the common wisdom we’ve grown up with. The good news is though, if your broker is a member of PHIIA and a signatory to the Code of Conduct, you can rest assured that the consultant you’re speaking to is abiding by a series of rules that are in favour of consumers like you.

Did you know…

In order to exist, most health insurance brokers must sign up to PHIIA and abide by their Code of Conduct – otherwise, health funds won’t go near them.

This is important because it means when you’re speaking to a broker they have pledged, amongst other things, to:

  1. Discharge their responsibilities with integrity and honesty
  2. Put consumers’ interests before their own
  3. Explain options clearly to the consumer and provide such information as is required to make an informed choice as to their health insurance purchase
  4. Not engage in any unlawful misrepresentation

Choose a broker that prioritises compliance

Now, I’m not saying that every sales consultant you’ll ever speak to is a saint, they have sales targets after all.

However, the liability in health insurance within Australia is so great that sales consultants will often have to work within a really strict compliance framework.

Health Deal for example, has a quality assurance team that listens to 100% of sales calls. PHIIA ensures that brokers have to voice-record all phone calls, but the reason Health Deal employs additional people to listen and assess those calls is to make sure your experience as a customer is fantastic, and to make sure you were correctly informed.

Loyalty doesn’t always pay

Most people who have been with their health fund for a number of years have a deep trust for their existing heath fund. But have you ever considered that your health fund may only have a handful of active policies when you ring them to review?

Just like brokers who might be incentivised by commissions, salespersons at health funds will generally have sales targets to hit to retain existing customers.

The big difference with a broker though, is that instead of someone comparing your policy to a limited number of policies all from the same fund, a broker can compare your policy against dozens and dozens of potentially better policies.

Ultimately this gives you greater choice, and a much better chance of finding a better solution for your health needs.

If you’re interested in comparing your cover with a broker, Health Deal have a range of heath funds to choose from.