Zurich unveils gender pipeline strategy

Zurich is to switch to gender neutral pricing for certain products from 10 December ahead of the implementation of the European Union gender directive on 21 December.

Consumers submitting applications for the provider’s whole of life adaptable life plan and income protection plan from 10 December will be offered gender neutral rates.

Gender neutral pricing takes effect from 17 December for Zurich’s level protection and decreasing mortgage cover plan.

Applications submitted before these dates will be issued on gender specific rates up until the close of business on 20 December. Applications not fully processed by 20 December 2012 will be automatically issued on gender neutral rates.

The whole of life adaptable life plan and income protection plan have an earlier switch date because they are paper-based applications, so they take longer to be processed.

Zurich head of protection for UK life Peter Hamilton says: “We have chosen dates that give as many customers as possible the opportunity to benefit from gender specific rates. The majority of our protection policies submitted online get an instant decision, and we will do all we can to ensure that customers have cover in place on gender specific rates before 20 December 2012.

“From October 2012, the acknowledgement packs we send to customers who apply for a protection plan will include additional information reinforcing the importance of the 20 December deadline, providing guidance on how they can help speed up the application process.”

In March 2011, the European Court of Justice ruled insurers cannot price products based on gender from December 21, 2012.

Ageas Protect, LV= and Legal & General have all released their pipeline strategies.