Life offices say decision will give advisers more time to encourage clients to take advantage of lower prices
Bright Grey and Scottish Provident confirmed today that they would be leaving it “as late as possible” before offering ‘gender-neutral’ premiums ahead of the implementation of the European Court of Justice gender directive.
The Royal London-owned life offices said that with six months to go until the introduction of new rules which mean insurers will no longer be permitted to price according to an individual’s gender, their preparations for life under the new regime are “well underway”.
The new rules – which have been widely opposed by the insurance industry in general – could add up to 15% to the cost of life insurance for women.
It is thought that some life offices are considering introducing gender-neutral pricing ahead of the 21 December 2012 deadline in a bid to be in a more competitive position when the rules come into force.
Roger Edwards (pictured), proposition director of Bright Grey & Scottish Provident, said that for “competitive reasons” he is unable to share in advance examples of what prices will be after so-called ‘G-Day’.
But today he confirmed that his organisations would not be introducing gender-neutral pricing ahead of the deadline. He said the decision would give financial advisers more time to raise the prospect of rising industry-wide prices with clients ahead of the implementation of the new rules.
Some commentators have voiced concerns that by encouraging advisers to do so, protection providers could be accused of 'short-termism'. Edwards, however, has previously told Health Insurance that it is in fact a "fantastic opportunity" for advisers to promote the need for protection.
Bright Grey and Scottish Provident said policies must have started by 20 December 2012 to qualify for gender-differentiated rates and so they would not be offering their usual pipeline process. The providers added that they are testing their systems before putting together a “definitive” plan for cases in pipeline on 21 December 2012.