Daily Insurance Industry News
Daily Insurance Industry News
Wednesday 18th of July 2018
January 30, 2010

Equalities Bill allows exception for insurers

by Gill Montia

Story link: Equalities Bill allows exception for insurers

Insurers suffering from anxiety over the Equality Bill currently before the House of Lords will be relieved to hear that Michael Foster, a junior minister in the Equalities Office, has announced a specific exception to allow financial services providers to treat people of different ages differently.

The Bill aims to put an end to age discrimination in England and Wales while at the same time allowing employers to discriminate in favour of female and ethnic minority job applicants.

However, it includes powers to make exceptions, so that beneficial and justifiable age-based practices can be allowed to continue.

Therefore, prices can still be varied by age, if the variation genuinely reflects risk or costs and is not an “arbitrary decision”.

When the Bill was introduced in 2008, insurers pointed out that it could be harmful to both the industry and consumers, if poorly implemented.

The Association of British Insurers (ABI) agreed with the reforms in principle but warned that competition could suffer because some insurers may choose to withdraw certain products, such as car and travel policies.

Responding to the latest announcement, the ABI’s acting director general, Maggie Craig, said: “The insurance industry is committed to providing competitive insurance for people of all ages … however, we recognise that some older people may experience difficulty finding the motor and travel insurance policies that are available to them.”

She added: “We are developing a signposting solution that will direct older people to those insurers who can meet their insurance needs.”


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