More shopping around to get better value
A recent consumer survey by the Health Insurance Authority, which regulates the health insurers, reveals some interesting trends in the health insurance market.
More people are willing to switch for better value, with 16pc of policyholders saying they had switched their policy at some stage, compared with 10pc in 2007.
This is still fairly low compared with other insurance markets, but it's the biggest rise in switching activity in this market to date.
Although most policyholders see their insurance cover as a necessity rather than a luxury, the percentage of those planning to maintain or upgrade their cover over the year fell from 89pc in 2007 to 73pc this year.
This tallies with what health insurance broker Dermot Goode is finding when dealing with his own customers.
"I've noticed people are now much more likely to change insurer to get better value," he says.
In addition, he says many are doing things like splitting their cover to put young children on lower plans, giving up costly day-to-day cover, and being more realistic about their accommodation preferences.