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‘Signposts’ to point older customers to insurance

‘Signposts’ to point older customers to insurance

Category: Insurance

Updated: 25/09/2017
First Published: 26/05/2011

This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.

Plans for a system to point older consumers struggling to find insurance in the direction of suitable providers have been welcomed by the insurance industry.

As part of its drive to end age discrimination in the provision of goods and services and to encourage action to improve access to insurance products, the Government wants to introduce 'signposting'.

Under the proposed system, individuals would receive helpful guidance that directs them to a suitable insurance provider if they are refused insurance based on their age.

The signpost system would be either an organisation who the seller knows can help the customer, or to a 'catch all' dedicated signposting centre.

The British Insurance Brokers' Association (BIBA) has thrown its support behind the proposals.

It added that although insurance is widely available from insurance brokers for all ages, improving access to financial services, particularly for young and older drivers, and older travellers seeking insurance is vital, and that signposting is the most effective way to achieve this.

"Many customers experience difficulty obtaining insurance because they do not know where to find it if they have been rejected from a particular provider such as their bank or a comparison site, because not all providers cover all age groups," said Graeme Trudgill, BIBA head of corporate affairs.

A recent report from Which? highlighted the difficulties that many older people experience when attempting to arrange travel insurance.

Michelle Mitchell, Age UK's charity director, said it is shameful that older consumers can be denied insurance simply because of their age.

"It is also unbelievably short sighted," she added. "People are generally living longer, healthier and more active lives. Discriminating against our ageing population in this way is not just bad for older people, it's bad for business."

Gordon Morris, managing director of Age UK Enterprises, said the important thing to note is that there are still options available and consumers just need to take the time to shop to get the best policy.

"However, it is essential to be completely transparent when purchasing a policy, advising your provider of any medical conditions," he added.

"Then you can enjoy your travels without worrying about the validity of your insurance."

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