Aviva, the London-based, LSE-listed UK health insurance giant, has agreed a deal with US-based Aetna’s international division to take over its UK international private medical insurance operations.
From 1 May, Aviva “will no longer provide cover for new customers or for existing customers wishing to renew their iPMI policies”, according to a statement issued today by Aetna International.
Instead, Aviva’s existing iPMI policyholders “will be offered continuation terms at policy renewal with Aetna International,” the statement said.
Existing Aviva customers who renew their policy will then become Aetna customers, and will no longer have a relationship with Aviva.”
Industry sources said the deal followed a decision by Aviva’s part that the iPMI sector wasn’t core to its business.
David Healy, who recently was named chief executive of Aetna International’s European and Middle East & Africa operations, said the company was “delighted” to have reached the agreement with Aviva, and noted that the deal was “very much in line with our business strategy to deliver comprehensive health care benefits worldwide”.
He added: “Aetna International has made significant progress in the iPMI market over recent years, and we are delighted that Aviva has trusted us to offer cover and support to their policyholders.
“This is another milestone in the development of our business around the world, and we look forward to offering Aviva’s iPMI policyholders the Aetna International benefits and service. We are confident that Aviva’s policyholders will be satisfied with the cover and service we are able to offer them.”
Aviva: ‘to concentrate on the UK market’
In a statement, Aviva said that withdrawing from the iPMI market, “where we have a small presence”, would allow the company to “concentrate on the significant domestic UK health insurance market, where we are growing our health and well-being solutions for our customers, and have the opportunity to achieve a market leading position.”
Based in Hartford, Connecticut, Aetna has been expanding its international footprint over the last few years. As reported, it acquired Bupa Thailand last year, as it looked to, in its words at the time, “signifiantly increase” its presence in Asia, and as it looked to “go ‘broader and deeper’ into local health care markets”.
Also last year it announced what it said was a planned expansion across the Canadian market, as well as a new business proposition for organisations with more than 1,500 employees overseas.
In November, the company announced that Healy, who until that point had been general manager for Aetna International’s European operations, has been named to head up the company’s newly-combined European and Middle East & Africa divisions as chief executive.