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Providers urged to disclose gender neutral pricing plans

Advisers have called on insurance providers to provide details about their plans to deal with gender neutral pricing as soon as possible, with the ruling coming into effect in under six months.

Last week, advisers met at the Financial & Technology Research Centre’s latest protection forum and called for provider to communicate their plans for “G-Day” as soon as possible and give details about what they are going to do and when.

Advisers sought clarity about whether there will be a cut off date after which providers will not accept gender specific rates other than December 21 and, if so, when providers will be disclosing their knew gender neutral pricing.

F&TRC, the adviser-led group, agreed a draft statement of good practice on gender neutral pricing in March, calling on providers to disclose details of their plans by June 21. This will be finalised at the next meting in September.

But, to date, no provider has disclosed details of their plans with regards to gender neutral pricing.

In March 2011, the European Court of Justice ruled that insurance companies should no longer charge separate rates for insurance for males and females. It is likely to result in an increase in life insurance rates for females but not necessarily lower rates for males. Insurers have until December 21 to stop charging by gender.

Roy McLoughlin, senior partner at Master Adviser, says: “With six months until G-day what is clear is there are a plethora of unanswered questions for advisers. It is imperative that distributors work alongside life offices to find answers and manage realistic customer expectations.

“The timescales and potential underwriting delays should not be under estimated alongside the anticipated bottle neck insurers may face later in the year.”

Ian McKenna, managing director at F&TRC, says: “There is clearly a lot of good work already from some insurers on this issue, however, advisers need more communication and more detail at the earliest opportunity.

“In view of TCF principles providers need to consider providing post G-day prices as early as possible so that advisers can manage client expectations.”

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