Aviva reveals stance on gender pipeline business

Provider's date for price changes remains unconfirmed

Aviva plans to honour protection applications received before the gender neutral deadline of 21 December provided they meet certain conditions, Health Insurance can reveal.

As of that date – when the European gender directive comes into force - providers will no longer be able to price according to gender, which is expected to add up to 15% to the cost of life cover for women.

Last week several providers publicly announced their plans for dealing with pipeline business in the run up to the deadline, and today – among calls from advisers for greater clarity from providers – Aviva has revealed to Health Insurance its stance on pipeline business.

The insurer said that all applications will continue to be valid providing the following information has been received before 21 December: a completed application, any requested outstanding information, an acceptance of the terms offered, payment details and a policy start date (which can be after 21 December).

For annuity business, the purchasing funds also need to reach Aviva before 21 December.

LV=, Legal & General and Ageas Protect have all made similar guarantees regarding pipeline business, but LV= is thus far the only insurer to confirm when it will be introducing its gender neutral rates (on 1 December).

Aviva told Health Insurance it is yet to confirm a date for its price changes.

A spokesperson for Aviva said: “We are making changes to our systems to ensure unisex pricing is reflected in all product areas for customers from the 21 December 2012.

“We will continue to work closely with advisers and customers in the lead up to this switchover and communicate with them in a timely manner to ensure any transition is as smooth as possible.”

But today, leading protection advisers called for better communication from providers regarding their plans for the introduction of gender neutral pricing.

Following the latest F&TRC Protection Forum meeting held yesterday between a group of protection advisers, life offices and reinsurers, advisers said greater clarity is needed from insurers and warned that many advisers remain unaware of the changes and how they will affect their clients.

Kevin Carr, CEO of Protection Review, said: “We have spoken to hundreds of advisers in recent weeks and it seems that around half of those we meet are completely unaware of G-day and the potential client issues it brings, not just for protection for also for annuities.”

Ian McKenna, managing director of F&TRC, added: “It is most concerning that despite all the noise the message isn’t getting through to such a large number of advisers. It is clear that we need a joined up campaign to make sure advisers know the details as soon as possible, and it’s not yet too late to make this happen.”

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