Select Page

What does Amazon’s launch of GP and healthcare services mean for protection advice? 2020 industry claims data and other interesting issues

What does Amazon’s launch of GP and healthcare services mean for protection advice? 2020 industry claims data and other interesting issues

If there is one organisation nobody wants as a competitor, it is probably Amazon. The UK is usually an early destination for their services once they reach beyond the US. For example, last week London became the first location outside America for their checkout free stores.

When Amazon closed its Haven joint-venture with Berkshire Hathaway and JP Morgan in January, some analysts predicted this might be the end of the Amazon move into healthcare provision. Now perhaps it indicates an intention to go it alone.

The news the digital colossus is extending its private health service, previously only available to its employees and their families to all Americans this summer raises fascinating questions.

Lockdown has made Amazon a company so many of us rely on and trust to deliver, day in day out, so it is hard to understate the impact they could have on any industry they choose to enter.

In 2018 the company launched Amazon Comprehend Medical a service which could transform the underwriting process. It uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to convert unstructured medical records into data which provides actionable insights. In December 2020 they added Healthlake to enable companies to “store, transform, query and analyse health data at a petabyte scale”.

Personally, I think it is unlikely Amazon will go into insurance manufacture as they can probably make more money selling Comprehend Medical and Healthlake to insurers but given the extent of their knowledge about tens of millions of consumers buying behaviour, which could potentially be extended to medical data they could become a powerful player in distribution. They already offer accidental damage and breakdown insurance for electrical goods in a partnership with London General Insurance. If you have a big footprint in distribution that many be a good way to get insurers to use your medical data services.

I would also like to highlight an important announcement I should have mentioned last week. Specifically, congratulations to John Lappin and Health & Protection on John joining them as associate editor. I have known John since literally the very first day he joined Money Marketing back in 1999. Over 10 years there he grew to be not only the editor of the paper but also one of the outstanding journalists of his generation. Having a writer of John’s calibre join Health & Protection will, I am sure, be of great benefit, not just to the publication but to the whole protection industry.  

We also saw Holloway Friendly announce on Monday that it was removing COVID19 exclusions on most deferred periods. To put this in context Adam followed up on Tuesday with a review of which insurers apply Covid exclusions to income protection. While the announcement from the Holloway is welcome, when you look at the hard facts, as Adam’s analysis identifies, the society is just bringing themselves back into line with most of the rest of the market. There are still a few friendly societies  who are maintaining COVID restrictions on longer deferred periods on new income protection contracts, but hopefully we will see these organisations also update their approach soon as well as the Holloway lifting their remaining restrictions.

During the week, as usual we produced a series of studies to help advisers get into the detail of Protection. On Monday Amanda Newman Smith started the week with an analysis on support during claims – how providers compare. 

To mark Ovarian Cancer Awareness month Adam’s Wednesday insight asked How is ovarian cancer covered in critical illness plans? On Thursday Amanda Newman Smith investigated Free life cover during the application process – how insurers compare.  Steve Berry wrapped up the week with piece on Everything you need to know about business protection age and sum assured limits 

Meanwhile over on our BenefitsGuru site Jason Green produced an analysis of Asset Allocation Tools – which pension providers offer what on Tuesday, followed on Thursday by a precursor to the publication of our forthcoming Financial Wellness ratings in a few weeks’ time, asking How do providers understand what their members want from a financial wellness proposition? 

Finally, can I invite last minute registrations for our Investment Forum meeting next Tuesday 23rd at 11am which will explore the latest innovations in  cash flow planning. Click here to get your tickets. Our panellists will be Iwan Schafthuizen from Ortec Finance, Rob Tedder from the newly renamed Intelliflo Planning, formerly i4C and Chris Jones from Dynamic Planner.

About The Author


Ian McKenna is the founder of Protection Guru. A 40 year veteran of the financial advice and related technology markets. Having worked for insurance and financial advice firms in 1995 he set up Financial Technology Research Centre, which publishes Protection Guru over a decade before “fin tech“ was recognised as an industry term. He believes passionately that far more people can be protected by life insurance and related contracts if we can demystify these and make objective comparative information on policies more accessible.

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Contact Us


Protection Guru Awards

2024 Product Ratings

Cost of Living

Protection Forum

Provider Financial Strength Ratings

Claims facts & Figures

Visit our learning & development Hub


We use cookies to track usage of our website using Google Analytics. Click here to opt-out.
Share This