1st July, 2016

Risk Perspectives

Queue Jumpers…

I am not sure where I heard it, but I’m pretty sure nearly everyone has heard it; “British people love queuing.” Take the Wimbledon queue, which is forming as we speak, people actually camp out for days in an attempt to get tickets. Of course, we hate the complete opposite with a passion; queue-jumpers.

As we pulled into Barcelona airport a few weeks ago after enjoying a relaxing week in the sun, we encountered our first queue of the day at the hire car drop-off. This was a well-respected queue, so we obliged, sorted the car and made our way into terminal building. I’d actually heard Barcelona was one of the best in Europe for shopping. Maybe it is, but it certainly isn’t highlighted in EasyJet’s terminal 2C, where there is one café charging €6.50 for a sandwich!

Spotting the gate number early (result!) we made our way down the escalators pretty much before anyone else got there, so predictably we took a seat. As more and more people arrived, the avid queuers (no idea if that’s a word but we will go with it) started filling the “speedy boarding” and “normal boarding” lanes. We did what anyone else does in that situation, stood up and joined the forming queue. Then, five minutes before boarding, with the queue relatively long, a random young gentlemen appeared next to the couple in front of us. Stood there with his buffer-face on (on his phone) behind his sunglasses, he casually stood waiting for the flight… “where’s this *nice man* come from” we thought. Needless to say, as we boarded the plane, he slipped in front of the couple in front and jumped ahead of100 people. Angrily, but typically, we discussed it amongst ourselves for 10 minutes before concluding that he wouldn’t get there quicker than us anyway.

Group Private Medical Insurance (PMI) can be unfairly seen as one of the worst forms of queue-jumping. Not only are you angering the queue like the flight guy, but there’s lots of you, and the people waiting have a far stronger need than a flight back to the UK. If you’re a business owner though, you shouldn’t see it as queue-jumping as its more akin to speedy boarding.  

For those who haven’t heard of it, it’s essentially a business insurance policy that gives you and your employees access to quicker and more selective medical care, in the event of an accident or sickness.

Here’s a good stat then; every year, businesses in the UK lose £600 per employee through absence (Aviva). If you could substantially reduce that by speeding up their recovery, why wouldn’t you? Not only can it save your business money, but it is seen as the second most desirable employee benefit, behind pension contributions. As we know, health and wealth are closely related, with changes in one directly effecting the other.

The fact that it’s expensive is also a bit of an urban myth. Of course, if you go for the widest range of hospitals including the Karolinska Hospital in Stockholm and the University Hospital in Geneva, it’s going to be. But if the policy is structured with the right hospitals and an appropriate excess, the cost can be reduced markedly. Crucially, if you take advice on the optimum way to set it up, it can save your business money and hassle, keeping your employees happier in the process.

So now you’ve got a plane full of happy, healthy people (with sombreros on and inflatable maracas under their arms) and you got a good discount on the flights!