Private health insurance
The health care market is becoming very crowded
In much the same way that the Internet and the supermarket banks have revolutionised car and home insurance, competition is changing the private health insurance market too. Supermarkets such as Sainsbury's have entered the market, and competition between insurers is likely to become even more fierce.
The number of people in the UK with private health insurance is expected to reach 8 million by 2006, and plenty of firms want a slice of that market. Private health insurance is currently dominated by two big players - BUPA and Apex - but a new breed of insurers are starting to make an impression. Norwich Union and Standard Life have cornered around 10% of the market, and plenty of other firms want to carve their own niche.