INSURERS UNABLE TO offer cover because of age restrictions will have to direct the applicant towards an appropriate provider, according to new rules announced today.
In a speech to the Age UK conference, Otto Thoresen, director general of the Association of British Insurers announced that the ABI has led an agreement, with the British Insurance Brokers Association and the Government, requiring all ABI members, who do not provide insurance because they apply age restrictions, to ‘signpost’ customers to an alternative appropriate provider, who will offer a product regardless of age. This agreement will come into force in April 2012.
Mr Thoresen said: “With an ageing population, it is crucial that we make it easier for older people to access financial services. This agreement will make it easier for older customers to access motor and travel insurance. It means all ABI members commit to signposting and helping older customers find another provider if they cannot help provide them with coverage. We are committed to making sure that all people who need insurance find it as easy as possible to get it.”
Interestingly, he also announced that the ABI will be increasing transparency by publishing aggregated claims data each year, so that consumers can be confident that age is relevant to the assessment of risk, for both motor and travel insurance.
In a statement, the ABI said the Age Agreement will reflect that people get insurance in many different ways. ABI research shows that while 41% of drivers in their late 60s would prefer to use a website, this drops to 25% for those aged 75 and over, with the remaining 75% of over 75s preferring to use the phone. The ABI will work with its members to find the best way to communicate with older people, particularly where there are specific communication needs related to hearing or sight.