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I’ve been recently in the market for a new health insurance policy as my old one with Quinn direct was due for renewal. I absolutely detest health insurance just because I think it’s a total rip off. I’m a man at the end of the day, I rarely go to see my doctor at all. In fact the last time I saw a doctor was about a year ago, when I was dragged kicking and screaming like a baby to the hospital to have a broken finger mended. So the idea of paying someone for something that I hope never to use… simply kills me. But none-the-less, it’s a neccessary evil and is quite important to have. God forbid I ever really need it, but if I do, I don’t want to be caught out.

Quinn Insurance, like everyone else I suppose, decided to hike their fees for the health insurance plan I was on this year. It went up around €250 on the previous year, which I felt was a bit excessive. So off I went on my travels to try and find a better health insurance deal.

The health insurance package that seemed to be most attractive was from Aviva Health. On the homepage of Aviva’s health insurance website, there is a nice well placed call-to-action “Switching” (they could have used a stronger call to action, but let’s not go there). With all the jargon associated with health insurance policies, I thought to myself, “this is great, let them tell me which policy suits me best”.

As you go through the steps of Aviva’s health insurance “switching” tool, it asks you to select your current health insurer, that was easy… Quinn. The next step asked you to choose your current plan. Our policy was the Essential Plus policy on Quinn Healthcare and there it was easily selectable from a drop down list of Quinn policies. Now, just click the compare button and hopefully it will suggest the nearest policy Aviva have to offer.

Unsurprisingly, the results showed that we would save over €200 by switching our policy to Aviva Health. I thought “fantastic, I love the Internet! I just saved myself €200!!”. This was of course until we rang Quinn Health Insurance to let them know we were cancelling who quickly asked “why are you switching?”. I explained that we had found a similar policy that was €200 cheaper than the one Quinn Health had on offer. She said, “Is it the Aviva Level 2 Hospital policy you are referring to?”, “yes” I said. “Well,” she said, “It’s not actually the same, because on our policy we give you €20 towards GP & Physiotherapists visits amoungst others”. She went on to suggest a similar policy from Quinn Health that offers pretty much the same level as Aviva (without access to the Beacon and Blackrock clinic etc) for saving of around €400 per annum. At this stage I was bamboozled and felt I needed to do more research as this could have been a sales ploy to stop me from leaving.

I went straight back online to compare the policies again and yes, true to her word she was right. The Aviva offering wasn’t even close in terms of what we previously had with Quinn Healthcare. In fact there was so much more covered on Quinn that I was shocked that Aviva were in a position to get away with what I feel is false advertising.

After this episode, I don’t think I’ll ever trust any of Aviva’s comparison tools, because they blatantly set out (in my opinion) to trick me into believing the policy was near enough a carbon copy of the policy I was leaving and for a better price.

Of course, the onus is on me to make sure I read the small print and see what is covered by my policy. But surely if someone is offering a comparison tool, it should be legally obliged to CLEARLY state the differences. When I say clearly, I don’t mean that it is accessible by clicking a button, I mean clearly stated here is where the differences are.

Needless to say, I’ve stuck with Quinn Health for our health insurance policy this year – I’d just like to see them reqarding it’s long serving customers for their loyalty! 😛

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