This is where comprehensive private medical insurance comes in.

Comprehensive medical insurance ensures that you benefit from the most wide-ranging cover on the market. However, the cost of this cover can vary significantly between providers and so it's important to compare private medical insurance before you buy.

What is private comprehensive health insurance?

If you're looking for the most comprehensive health cover then you should compare policies and quotes to find the best quality private medical insurance you can.

A comprehensive medical insurance policy will typically cover:

  • In-patient treatmentAny treatment where you require a stay in hospital either as a day patient or on an overnight basis

  • Out-patient treatmentDiagnosis and consultations that don't need you to remain in hospital overnight. These visits can include consultations with specialists as well as diagnostic tests

  • Additional treatment Such as alternative therapies and sometimes optical and dental care

Private comprehensive health insurance will typically also include other benefits. For example, you will generally find that you end up on a private ward when you claim on your comprehensive health cover. As well as en-suite bathroom facilities you will often benefit from other comforts such as satellite television and a telephone.

What should I look for when I compare comprehensive health insurance quotes?

The cost and benefits of medical insurance can vary wildly from provider to provider and so it's important to compare comprehensive health insurance quotes and policies before you buy.

As well as searching for the most competitive premium it's recommended that you also compare the quality of the cover too.

For example, when comparing policies you should establish how many hospitals you can choose from if you need to attend for in-patient or out-patient treatment.

You should look at the type of treatments and benefits offered as these will dictate whether you're able to make a claim on the policy.

You should also check whether the insurer will settle any claims directly with your specialist or hospital or whether you have to settle bills yourself before making a claim.

It is also worth checking whether your chosen comprehensive medical insurance has any annual limits on the amount you can claim. This may be particularly important if you have to have a long series of treatment in the future for a serious illness or you have to stay as an in-patient for an extended period.

Finally, when comparing unlimited health insurance quotes check what policy excess applies. Your excess is the amount of any claim that you have to pay yourself. The lower the excess, the less you will have to pay in the event of a claim although your premiums may be higher.

Consider the extent of the cover you'd like, compare quotes and policies from different providers and then take out the policy that provides you with the most extensive range of benefits for the lowest cost.