the exeter

The Exeter Health Insurance [Review]

Who Are The Exeter?

The Exeter is a friendly society that was founded in 1927. It was previously known as Exeter Family Friendly until 2015, when the insurer renamed itself following a merger of the Pioneer and Exeter Family brands.

It’s an award-winning provider of a number of protection policies, from Income Protection to Private Health Insurance.

As a mutual society, its members own it. This means it has no obligations to any shareholders.

Private Medical Insurance Awards

In 2019, the insurer won the Best Private Medical Insurance award at the Cover Customer Care Awards. At the same awards ceremony, it also won the Customer Service Above and Beyond award.

The Exeter’s Health+ policy has a five star rating from independent financial services ratings firm Defaqto.

Joe Toft, health & wellbeing expert at Drewberry

Being a Friendly Society with no shareholders to please The Exeter’s focus is solely on doing the best by their members. A five star product with great additional benefits.
Joseph Toft
Health and Wellbeing Expert

The Exeter’s Medical Insurance

Health+ is The Exeter’s sole Health Insurance offering. It previously had two separate policies: a comprehensive Health Cover For Me plan and Health Essentials For Me, a low-cost variant. However, these separate policies were merged and came together as Health+ in 2018.

Policy Overview

Core cover on a Health+ policy pays for inpatient treatment, with only very minimal outpatient care as standard. You can add either full or limited outpatient cover to your policy for an additional premium.

Read more about the difference between inpatient and outpatient cover here.

Key Benefits

  • Digital GP service
    The Exeter offers access to a virtual GP via its HealthWise smartphone app. You get up to four telephone or video consultations per policy year with a UK-registered GP. Appointments are available between 8am and 7pm on weekdays (excluding bank holidays) and between 9am and 1pm on Saturdays.
  • HealthWise smartphone app
    As well as digital GP services, the HealthWise app gives members access to up to two video consultations per year for a second medical opinion; up to six video consultations with a physiotherapist per year; and up to six video sessions with specialists to assist with mental health concerns such as anxiety and depression.
  • Breakthrough cancer drugs and therapies
    Access to cutting-edge cancer drugs and treatments, even when they’re not approved for NHS use due to cost.


Exeter Health Insurance key facts pdf.

Exeter Health Insurance policy terms pdf.

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What Does The Exeter Health+ Cover?

Inpatient and Day-Patient Treatment

Inpatient and day-patient treatment involves all medical care requiring a hospital bed. This might be overnight (inpatient) or just for the day (day-patient). This most commonly, but not exclusively, involves surgical procedures.

Inpatient and Day-Patient Coverage

Hospital treatment

Including any necessary medical aids or take-home drugs

Specialist / consultant fees

E.g. MRIs, CT scans and PET scans

Outpatient Treatment

All medical care not requiring a hospital bed. The Exeter Health+ does not include most outpatient care as standard, with the exception of up to three physiotherapy sessions after eligible inpatient surgery.

Otherwise, outpatient care is an optional extra you add to the policy for an additional premium. This provides you with access to:

  • Specialist consultations
  • Diagnostic tests such as X-rays, ECGs and pathology tests (note that CT, MRI and PET scans are included as standard under core cover).

Outpatient Limits

The Exeter lets you stick with ‘core’ cover only, meaning you get little outpatient cover, to offer Low Cost Health Insurance. Alternatively, you can choose to limit outpatient cover to either £500 or £1,000 per policy year.

However, if you do opt for limited outpatient cover, you can choose another policy option that offers unlimited diagnostic outpatient treatment. This means your policy covers all diagnostic tests / scans in full, with only specialist consultation fees deducted from your chosen outpatient limit.

Cancer Care

Cancer cover is one of the most valuable elements of any Private Medical Insurance policy. It pays for diagnosis and treatment of cancer, including offering access to drugs, treatments, therapies and procedures the NHS may not yet offer due to their cost.

The Exeter Health+ covers cancer care in full as standard with no limits in terms of time or cost of treatment.

Cancer Coverage

Chemotherapy / radiotherapy

Including at-home chemotherapy where medically appropriate

Cancer surgery

Stem cell / bone marrow transplant

Hormone therapy

E.g. followups and reviews relating to ongoing cancer care, even when in remission

Preventative treatment / screenings
E.g. mammograms, cervical smears, preventative mastectomies

Palliative / End of Life Care

The Exeter pays in full for palliative care where treatment is designed to control symptoms or relieve pain rather than curing cancer.

The policy also makes a £250 donation to a hospice if you’re admitted following a terminal diagnosis, as well as paying in full for end of life care in a hospital on your chosen hospital list.

Hospital List

Your hospital list impacts which facilities you get private healthcare in and also how much your premiums will be. Some hospitals are more expensive than others, so opting for access to a wider array of private facilities increases premiums.

The Exeter has three tiers of hospital lists to choose from:

  • Essential
    Includes hospitals from some of the UK’s largest hospital groups and private NHS units
  • Standard
    Includes a greater range of independent hospitals and clinics
  • Extended
    Offers the widest choice of facilities, including access to a greater number of prestigious Central London hospitals.

View The Exeter’s full hospital list here.

Medical Underwriting Options

When you apply for Health Insurance as an individual, you choose how you want your insurer to underwrite you.

The Exeter offers two main underwriting options:

  • Full medical underwriting
    You disclose your medical history when you take out the policy
  • Moratorium underwriting
    The Exeter won’t ask for any medical details until you submit a claim.

These are two very different options which can impact the way your insurer decides on exclusions for any pre-existing conditions you may have. The best underwriting for you depends on your circumstances.

Read more about the difference between full medical underwriting and moratorium underwriting here.

You can also switch to The Exeter’s Health+ policy from another provider. This will need to be on a continued personal medical exclusions (CPME) basis.

Additional Benefits

Additional benefits that are free with a Health+ policy as standard include:

  • Private ambulance
    Covers the cost of a private road ambulance transfer if medically required
  • Home nursing
    If clinically necessary, a nurse will visit you at home to check up on your following eligible inpatient treatment
  • Parental accommodation
    The Exeter places no limit on how long a parent of a child aged under 18 the policy covers can stay with that child in the hospital while they’re having eligible inpatient treatment
  • NHS cash benefit
    If you’d rather have treatment under the NHS, The Exeter pays you a cash benefit of £150 per night for each night you spend in an NHS hospital receiving inpatient treatment your policy would have paid for.

Optional Extras

You can add the following benefits to your policy for an additional premium:

  • Unlimited outpatient diagnostics
    If you’ve chosen to limit your outpatient cover to £500 or £1,000 per year, this option ensures the policy covers diagnostic tests in full, with The Exeter only deducting fees for outpatient consultations from your outpatient limit.
  • Therapies
    If you’ve added outpatient cover to your policy, this option provides sessions with a physiotherapist, chiropractor, osteopath, acupuncturist, podiatrist, speech therapist or a dietician (up to two dietician sessions per member per year), as well as visits to a pain clinic. Your policy covers these either in full or up to your outpatient limit.
  • Mental health
    This covers in full up to 28 days of inpatient mental health care in a psychiatric hospital, paying for specialist fees and diagnostic tests. It also covers outpatient treatment by psychiatrists, psychologists and cognitive behavioural therapists.

Are There Any Exclusions?

The Exeter Health+ has exclusions that are fairly standard across the market. For example, they include:

  • Alcohol / substance abuse
  • Chronic conditions
  • Cosmetic / weight loss surgery
  • Emergency medicine
  • Organ transplants
  • Outpatient drugs, dressings and medical aids, unless they’re cancer drugs or a doctor prescribes them immediately after eligible inpatient / day-patient treatment
  • Pre-existing conditions
  • Normal pregnancy and childbirth
  • Infertility
  • Preventative screenings (e.g. mammograms)
  • Kidney dialysis
  • Sex change / gender reassignment.

Do I Have to Pay Towards My Treatment?

The Exeter lets you add an excess to your policy, which is the sum of money you agree to pay upfront towards your private treatment. The higher the excess, the lower your monthly premiums. However, you don’t have to add an excess if you don’t want to. The Exeter offers excesses of:

  • £0
  • £100
  • £250
  • £500
  • £1,000
  • £3,000
  • £5,000.

The Exeter only requires you to pay your excess once per policy year.

Read more about Health Insurance excesses here.

Key Comparison Points

No Claims Discount

The Exeter offers a fifteen tier no claims discount. At the highest level, this can offer up to 75% off premiums. NHS cash benefits, hospice donations and any claims below your excess do not count as claims for the purposes of your no claims discount.

If you go a year without making a claim, you move up a level. You can also make a claim of up to £300 without impacting your no claims discount — you stick on the same tier if this is the case.

Otherwise, for claims of:

  • £300.01-£1,000 you move down a level
  • £1,000.01-£2,000 you move down by two levels
  • £2,000.01+ you move down by three levels.

You have the option to protect your no claims discount for an additional premium.

6 Week NHS Wait

Unlike other providers, The Exeter does not offer the 6 week NHS wait option, which can be a way of keeping costs down by only paying for private inpatient treatment if the NHS wait for that treatment exceeds 6 weeks.

High Optional Excesses

The Exeter’s optional £3,000 and £5,000 excesses are among the industry’s highest.

While they would be expensive to pay upfront if you ever needed to claim, if you can afford to pay them they could help significantly reduce premiums.

Speech Therapy

The Exeter includes sessions with a speech therapist under its Therapies optional extra. This is fairly unusual in the Private Health Insurance market, where cover for speech therapy is usually extremely limited or non-existent.

Parental Accommodation

The Exeter offers parental accommodation with a child up until they’re 18 if that child is undergoing eligible inpatient surgery. Most insurers have a lower cut off age for this of 15 or 16 years old.

No Dental or Optical Add On

Many Health Insurance providers offer a policy add on whereby you can pay an additional premium and receive cashback for routine dental and optical care. The Exeter does not have this option on its Private Medical Insurance plan.

Compare Private Medical Insurance Quotes & Get Expert Advice

As you can see, when you’re looking to compare Health Insurance there are lots of points to consider. With so many factors and a lot of different terminology at play, it can be tricky to do an accurate like-for-like comparison between providers.

Why Speak to Us…

We started Drewberry™ because we were tired of being treated like a number.

We all deserve a first class service when it comes to issues as important as protecting our health. Below are just a few reasons why it makes sense to talk to us.

If you are wanting to review an existing health insurance policy or set-up a new plan give us a call on 02074425880 or email

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