Age old problem finally resolved by insurers

Insurance sellers want to offer more help to customers who have problems finding the right cover for their needs.

Instead of just offering an apology if they cannot offer a policy that suits a customer’s needs, they will take part in industry ‘signposting’ initiatives.

Signposting means that if a firm can’t offer a solution to a problem, they will direct the customer to another provider who deals with their issues or to a general information centre.

The support is particularly aimed at older customers who have difficulties sourcing appropriate cover.

Recently, consumer champion Which? found the lack of travel insurance for the over 70s was a major failing by insurers that effectively stopped people taking part in adventure holidays, like sailing and skiing. 

The response from the British Insurance Brokers Association (BIBA) is in response to government consultation on Equality Act provisions that claims some insurance firms discriminate against younger and older customers.

Graeme Trudgill, BIBA Head of Corporate Affairs, said: “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.”

“BIBA already operates a successful, established signposting service via our Find a Broker call centre and website, helping more than 1,000 people every working day access cover. This system matches the principles discussed by the HM Treasury Signposting Steering Committee”.

Approximately 34% of all the enquiries received by BIBA’s Find a Broker service are age related.

Gordon Morris, Managing Director of Age UK Enterprises, said: “The findings of the Which? report reveal real difficulties that those in later life can face when purchasing travel insurance. Why should you say to people who are over 65 “you can’t go skiing?” 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. Then you can enjoy your travels without worrying about the validity of your insurance.”

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