A new health insurance product from Sainsbury's has come under fire for being an overpriced, repackaged version of AIG's HealthNow scheme.
The UK's third biggest supermarket chain has been accused of doubling the price of its AIG-backed product while adding little more value. Competitors such as HSA are claiming that excluding the price tag, the two products are essentially the same, an allegation denied by the supermarket.
Sainsbury's manager of health insurance Mark Sim said: "The two products are completely different."
The company highlights differences in physiotherapy levels between the two schemes and the fact that Sainsbury's offers over 900 surgical procedures compared to AIG's 130.
But price comparisons show a 21-year-old would pay £21.95 for the Sainsbury's product but only £11 for AIG's HealthNow scheme. A couple in their 30s pay £52.70 at Sainsbury's compared to £29 with HealthNow.
With Sainsbury's in the middle of a media blitz to try and publicise the new scheme, the pricing has prompted sharp comment.
HSA marketing and sales director Chris Harrison said: "We can only guess that Sainsbury's are taking huge amounts of commission or profit share at the expense of their customers. While good food might cost less at Sainsbury's it is clear to us that health insurance will cost substantially more."