Car insurers pledge more help for older drivers

Older drivers should find buying car insurance easier thanks to a new deal between the government and the insurance industry.

From April 6, 2012, if an insurance firm or broker cannot offer cover to an older driver because their policies have an upper age limit, they will steer the customer to a provider who can help or a ‘find a broker’ service.

To make sure insurers stick to the deal, the guidelines will become a condition of membership of the Association of British Insurers (ABI) or the British Insurance Brokers Association (BIBA), the two leading trade bodies.

Home Secretary and Minister for Women and Equalities Theresa May said: “I fully support the work the ABI and BIBA are doing to make it easier for older people to get motor and travel insurance and provide greater transparency on how decisions are made.

“This is a great example of businesses working with government to tackle discrimination.”

To police how the deal works, the ABI will publish annual figures showing claims costs broken down by age and BIBA will release details of the number of inquiries made by older drivers to their ‘find a broker’ helpline and web site.

Otto Thoresen, ABI Director General, said: “The insurance industry wants to ensure that older people get the best possible insurance deal, by having as wide access to the motor and travel insurance markets as possible. This agreement shows how the industry can work with Government to increase access to insurance, improve transparency, while preserving insurers’ ability to assess and price risk fairly.”

The agreement will not make any difference to the availability of car insurance for older drivers.

Financial Secretary to the Treasury, Mark Hoban confirmed the aim is to make finding an insurance company or broker dealing with cover for older drivers easier.

“We’ve worked closely with the ABI and BIBA to make it easier for older people to find the right policy for them. We will keep a close eye on this to make sure the insurance industry meets its commitments,” he said.

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