Former R&SA business offers 'wellbeing' package to offset liability cost

Healthcare & Assistance, the business sold by R&SA to a consortium led by Groupama managing director Tim Ablett last week, is aiming to become Britain's biggest corporate wellbeing specialist.

Ablett said that the health and personal accident insurer would target the corporate market through brokers and other intermediaries. But, rather than selling private medical insurance to executives, the company would broaden out to provide health assistance products for blue collar workers too.

The move is a reaction to the liability crisis that has seen many businesses struggle to secure insurance for workplace accidents and diseases.

Ablett said that one way of reducing the risks covered by liability insurance is to provide a policy that provides instant rehabilitation. "So, if a worker phones in sick, an appointment can be made with a doctor at the earliest convenience, rather than wait for an appointment with his or her GP," said Ablett.

"This means treatment can start as soon as possible and the worker can get back to work at the earliest possible moment. This is good for the worker and good for the employer," added Ablett.

Healthcare & Assistance, which R&SA sold to Ablett's consortium Oxfordway for £147m, sells a range of private medical insurance policies and has in-house employment advisers, stress councillors and rehabilitation experts.

Ablett said that the company made a £30m profit on a gross written premium of £300m last year with an 85:15 split between indemnity income and fees.

"I want to grow the company to £500m income over the next five years, with a 50:50 split between fees and indemnity income," he said.

The company employs 1,200 and it is understood there will be no job losses.

It is also understood that R&SA will gain around £247m from the deal. This includes about £100m from associated cost savings.

Ablett said R&SA originally approached Groupama to see if it was interested in buying the company. Ablett headed Healthcare & Assistance before he left for Groupama.