Health insurer BCWA is freezing rates on all classes of its Preferential and Vital business. They will be reviewed next spring.

Sales and marketing director Philip Fowles said: “We have been able to take this step because of our strong financial performance last year. We are on target in terms of our underwriting performance for 2000.”

Preferential Cover provides comprehensive cover for the full cost of private consultation and out-patient, day-patient and in-patient treatment.

Vital Cover provides budget-priced cover for the costs of day-patient and in-patient treatments, as well as for radiotherapy and chemotherapy.