The Association of British Insurers has thrown its support behind a Home Office announcement that imminent discrimination laws will not apply to the insurance industry.
The news, announced yesterday by Theresa May, has drawn criticism from organisations such as Age UK, but the Association of British Insurers has backed the decision to ensure that the Equality Act does not apply to financial services by insisting that insurers take age into account only when it is relevant to the risk.
An ABI spokesman said: "It is what we expected - a broad exemption from the Equality Act that will enable financial services companies to continue using age as part of the risk assessment process.
"The main focus is on the impact for older people on travel and motor insurance where age is a key factor in why, on average, they pay more.
"Stats show that for motor and travel insurance older customers are more likely to claim, and if they do the average claim is more than for a young customer."
The ABI is confident that its collaborative work towards a signposting service will help ease concerns that the decision will not result in elderly motorists and holidaymakers finding it even harder to get motor and travel cover.
The spokesman added: "While cover is freely available for older customers, we recognise that some people may have trouble accessing it.
"That is why the ABI worked with the government and the British Insurance Brokers Association to set up a signposting service so that older customers can easily be put in contact with insurers that offer travel or motor insurance to meet their needs."
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