ActiveQuote analysed 84,801 people who had found health insurance quotes online at www.activequote.com between January 2010 and November 2012.
Their figures show that since January 2010 there has been a 22% rise in people under the age of 40 enquiring about the product.
In 2010, 29% of people getting health insurance quotes were aged below 40. However, this figure had increased to 43% by 2011, and 51% by 2012.
Dr Richard Theo, Managing Director of ActiveQuote, believes there are a number of reasons why younger people are showing more of an interest in health insurance.
He said: “Over the past year the NHS has come under heavy scrutiny from the media. It is possible that the press is raising awareness of the benefits of having private medical cover among people who may not have considered it before.”
ActiveQuote found that people in their late twenties showed the biggest rise in interest in the product. In 2010, people aged 25 to 29 made up just 6% of health insurance enquiries online. By 2012, the figure had more than doubled to 13%.
Dr Theo pointed out that people of this age are more likely to use an online comparison website like ActiveQuote to find an insurance policy. He said: “Whilst the traditional method of buying medical insurance is to speak to an insurer direct or talk to an IFA, younger people prefer to compare insurance quotes online to find the right policy at the best price.”
ActiveQuote's research also showed a wide disparity between average health insurance premiums in different areas of the UK.
Looking at 4,911 people who bought a private health insurance policy between January 2010 and August 2012, they found that health insurance premiums are generally highest in the North West of England, and lowest in Scotland.
Wigan has the highest average annual premium at £1,450 a year, closely followed by Stockport at £1,390 and Blackburn at £1,309. In contrast, Perth has the lowest average annual premium at £665 a year, followed by Aberdeen at £604 a year and Dundee at £609 a year.
Dr Theo believes this data shows the importance of shopping around for medical insurance. He said: “Insurers look at claims statistics in the local area when calculating premiums, which means that where you live may affect the cost of your health insurance.
“However, this does not mean you will be unable to find a policy within your budget. There are a number of ways you can lower your premiums without sacrificing on cover, and using a comparison website or an insurance broker is a great way to do this.”
ActiveQuote Health Ltd is a specialist insurance broker, fully authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority (FSA). ActiveQuote offers online quotes for health insurance, income protection and life insurance.