Comparing Private Health Insurance

We have created a range of useful product pages and comparison tools to help make your life easier when it comes to finding out about private health insurance.

As well as using the bar above to select an insurer and find out more about their policies, you can scroll down this page to find an overview of the key policy factors and things to consider when looking at policies.

Private Health Insurance Terms Explained

When you compare Health Insurance policies, make sure your cover is relevant to you. The key is combining the right options to tailor your cover.

Inpatient Treatment/Outpatient Treatment

Definition: The type of care you are covered for.

Inpatient Cover

Day-Patient Cover

Outpatient Cover

Included as standard

Usually included automatically

Not automatically included

Covers treatments that require patients to be admitted to hospital for overnight care.

Covers treatments that require the use of a hospital bed during the day, but not overnight.

Covers treatments that do not require the use of a hospital bed at all.

What to Look for: There are three different types of treatments you can get cover for. If you want a comprehensive policy, you will need to pay more to have outpatient cover included. Standard policies, however, will always include inpatient treatment and many will also include day-patient treatment.


Definition: Analysis performed by insurers to price your policy and decide your level of cover.

What to Look for: Full Medical Underwriting offers more consistent and clear cover, with your exclusions and cover given to you at the start of the policy. With Moratorium underwriting, on the other hand, you have the opportunity to have pre-existing conditions re-included in your policy after a set number of years.


Definition: The amount that you are willing to put forward to cover a treatment.

What to Look for: An excess can help you save money on your policy. The more you’re willing to contribute upfront to your treatment before the insurance kicks in, the lower your premiums will be.

Cancer Treatment and Care

Definition: The types of cancer treatments and care that are covered by your policy.

What to Look for: Not many PMI policies cover long-term therapies, but with comprehensive cover for cancer, your insurer will cover cancer treatments and therapies and others may even contribute to the cost of wigs and prostheses.

Psychiatric Cover

Definition: Cover for psychiatric treatments, therapies and counselling.

What to Look for: Psychiatric care is one of the most difficult types of care to get through the NHS, with many patients waiting months for treatment. If you are looking for a comprehensive policy, psychiatric cover is a great benefit to include.

Routine Dental & Optical Cover

Definition: Cover for routine dental and optical treatments.

What to Look for: Emergency dental and optical cover is usually covered automatically, but most insurers include the option of adding cover for routine check-ups and basic treatments. This option can be a valuable addition to a comprehensive policy; however, it will have a noticeable impact on the cost.

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Comparing Private Health Insurance Providers



Aviva’s Health Insurance – known as Healthier Solutions – is a modular product that allows you to add/remove cover such as outpatient treatment, therapies, psychiatric treatment and routine dental/optical treatment to adjust your policy to your needs.

AXA PPP Healthcare

AXA PPP Healthcare

AXA Health Insurance policies focus primarily on giving fast access to treatments. If you are in need of a physiotherapist, AXA give you immediate access without needing a referral from your GP. With extended cover, policyholders also have access to treatment overseas and private GPs. As an additional benefit, policyholders get a 50% discount on gym memberships at certain locations.



Bupa offers both comprehensive Health Insurance policies and flexible, more affordable options to ensure that everyone has access to fast treatments. They offer an annual health checkup, home treatments and, with outpatient cover, full cover for the treatment of acute mental health issues. Bupa Health Insurance also allows policyholders to pay for their own treatments in a Bupa hospital.


the exeter

The Exeter

In 2018, The Exeter rebranded their Health Insurance offering to ‘The Exeter Health+‘, providing simple and comprehensive cover. The Exeter’s core cover offers unlimited inpatient and day-patient cover while policyholders can choose from several different levels of outpatient cover to match their policy’s cover to their budget.



Health-On-Line’s core outpatient cover for comprehensive policies includes CT, MRI and PET scans, but with added psychiatric care there is no limit on consultations, psychiatric treatments, or CBT therapies. Their most basic and affordable PMI plan, covers diagnostics for any new conditions and full cover for all inpatient and day-patient treatments in selected hospitals.


Vitality’s comprehensive cover offers full outpatient cover, extended cancer cover, dental cover and limited cover for psychiatric consultations, treatments and therapies. They also provide free video access to private GPs and a free Apple Watch as a reward for staying active.

Drew Nelson Health & Wellbeing Expert at Drewberry

The insurer you choose can be just as important as the policy. The right insurer will have your best interest at heart and offer support when you need it most.

Drew Nelson
Health & Wellbeing Expert at Drewberry

What do the Best Health Insurance Companies Offer?

Additional Benefits and Cover

Definition: Additional levels of cover offered by some insurers with their Private Health Insurance.

What to Look for: Focus on benefits that you are more likely to make use of. Some insurers offer services, such as GP access or private prescriptions, that can be invaluable when you have a medical issue that needs to be resolved.

Hospital List

Definition: The list of approved hospitals where you may receive treatment.

What to Look for: Some insurers offer different options in terms of hospital lists, ranging from extensive to highly limited, that will influence the cost of your policy. You will need to decide whether you want extensive access to a range of different hospitals and keep in mind your level of cover and the typical fees for the facilities on the hospital list.

Applying for Private Health Insurance

Many Health Insurance policies present a nearly overwhelming amount of options when it comes to your level of cover. For that reason, you may consider speaking to a financial adviser to find out which kinds of cover are worth adding to your policy.

How Do Health Insurance Policies Work?

  • You become injured or ill and require treatment.
  • You visit your GP and are provided with a referral to see a specialist or receive hospital treatment.
  • The information given to you by your GP is sent to your insurer’s claims department, who then need to pre-authorise treatment.
  • Proceed with your consultation once the insurer has agreed to cover it.
  • Aside from your excess and any other excluded items, the insurer settles the bill with your private healthcare provider.

How Do I Apply for Health Insurance?

  • Identify what you want from your policy and how much cover you need.
  • Review your available policy options and decide which are the best for you.
  • Collect and compare quotes from insurers to find the policy you want, or alternatively use one of the Health & Wellbeing Experts at Drewberry to do the legwork for you
  • Provide the necessary information to apply, including age and smoker status.
  • Review the policy offer you have been given and, if you’re happy, finalise your application.

Need Advice Comparing Health Insurance?

With each provider having their own unique product which has its own levels of cover and additional benefits means it can become a bit of a minefield without right tools and expertise in the area. We have a team of experts on hand to make surely you truly understand how to compare private medical insurance and make the right decision when it comes to your cover.

Why Speak to Us?

We started Drewberry because we were tired of being treated like a number and not getting the service we all deserve when it comes to things as important as protecting our health and our finances. Below are just a few reasons why it makes sense to talk to us.

  • There is no fee for our service
  • We are independent and impartial
    Drewberry isn’t tied to any insurance company, so we can provide completely impartial advice to make sure you get the most appropriate policy based solely on your needs.
  • We’ve got bargaining power on our side
    This allows us to negotiate better premiums for you than you going direct yourself.
  • You’ll speak to a dedicated expert from start to finish
    You will speak to a named expert with a direct telephone and email. No more automated machines and no more being sent from pillar to post – you’ll have someone to speak to who knows you.
  • Benefit from our 5-star service
    We pride ourselves on providing a 5-star service, as can be seen from our 2049 and growing independent client reviews rating us at 4.92 / 5.
  • Gain the protection of regulated advice
    You are protected. Where we provide a regulated advice service we are responsible for the policy we set-up for you. Doing it yourself or going direct to an insurer won’t provide this protection, so you won’t benefit from these securities.
  • Claims support when you need it the most
    You have support should you need to make a claim. The most important thing when it comes to insurance is that claims are paid and quickly. We are here to support you during the claims process and make sure it’s as smooth and stress free as possible.

If it is all getting a little confusing and you want to talk through your options to make sure you find the most suitable cover please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Pop us a call on 02074425880 or email

Tom Conner
Director at Drewberry

I’ve held a policy with Drewberry for several years now. They are always friendly, insightful and offer great service.

Dan Pettitt
13/01/2021 Logo
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Frequently Asked Private Medical Insurance Questions
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