Big increase in older people accessing insurance following Signposting Agreement

12th April 2013

Newly released figures show a landmark agreement between Government and the insurance industry has been a success in improving access to insurance for older customers.

The ‘signposting’ agreement, which came in to force on 6 April 2012, now means that if an insurer or broker is unable to offer cover to an older motorist or traveller due to the fact that their age is above any upper age limits they have, then they will automatically refer them to an alternative provider who can meet their needs or to a dedicated signposting service, such as The British Insurance Brokers’ Association’s (BIBA’s) ‘Find a Broker’ service or website.

The new figures show that there has been a 200% increase in calls and web-hits to the ‘Find a Broker’ service during its first year, with more than 43,000 enquirers put in touch with a specialist broker for the type of policy they’re looking for.

Before the agreement, older customers were sometimes turned away for motor or travel insurance because of their age, leaving them at a loss when trying to arranging cover.

Economic Secretary to the Treasury, Sajid Javid MP said: “The Government, ABI and BIBA have worked closely over the last year to make sure that this scheme makes a real difference to older people seeking the right insurance for them. We will continue to monitor the scheme to make sure that the insurance industry meets its commitments.”

Steve White, Chief Executive of BIBA, said: “A crucial part of the success of signposting is BIBA’s Find a Broker service – which finds specialist brokers who can offer specific type of cover based on factors such as age and medical condition.

“The figures show that not only there was a need for this type of service, but it can make a real difference to those people who really struggle to find cover.

“We would like signposting to be expanded to other areas of insurance where people struggle to access cover.”

Otto Thoresen, Association of British Insurers Director General, said: “The insurance industry is committed to ensuring that older customers get the best possible insurance deal, by having wide access to the motor and travel insurance markets and these figures show that this is happening. This agreement shows how the industry can work with Government to increase access to insurance, improve transparency, while preserving insurers’ ability to assess and price risk fairly.”

Caroline Rookes, Chief Executive of the Money Advice Service, said: “It’s vital that people protect their assets with the right insurance cover, but finding the right policy can be confusing if you’re new to insurance or need to insure something unusual. We urge customers in this position to consider talking to an insurance broker, because they are experts and can often find better cover at a great price. We recommend people look out for brokers who are members of trade bodies like the British Insurance Brokers' Association – its ‘Find a Broker’ helpline and website offers a great source of help.”

BIBA’s Find a Broker service can be accessed via www.biba.org.uk or by calling 0870 950 1790. and has helped a variety of older people from a variety of backgrounds. Examples of people who have benefitted from the service include:

 

Examples of Successful case studies helped by the BIBA Find a broker service.


Travel

  • Travel – Mr A – male aged 79, female aged 73, 22 days to Canada.  Male high cholesterol and blood pressure, stroke, pace maker fitted, angina, prostate removed due to malignant tumour, under-active thyroid.  Female high blood pressure and cholesterol.
  • Travel – Mr B male aged 85 and female aged 90 latter with type II diabetes, going to Miami 12th March – 26th March for 14 nights.
  • Travel – Mrs C – female aged 76, annual policy, going cross country skiing in Norway then to Scotland and on to Canada for sea kayaking.  Takes meds for high cholesterol and blood pressure.
  • Travel – Mr D – male aged 91, single trip to New Zealand for 6 weeks.  Had heart attack 10 years ago.
  • Travel – Mr F – male aged 91 wanting 104 days worldwide cover. Non malignant prostate gland, gout, eye drops for glaucoma
  • Travel – Mr M – male aged 74 and female aged 95 travelling for 3 weeks  to Israel 13th March to 4th April.  Female with type II diabetes, 1988 had triple bypass, on medication, ramaprol, ventilin for asthma.
  • Travel – Mr I, male aged 84 and female aged 86.  Travelling to Europe for cruise. Male; cataracts removed, basal cell carcinoma removal, vascular stroke/dementia, vasovagal infarction.  Female; high blood pressure, mini stroke 4-5 years ago, takes medication.
  • Travel – Mrs W – female aged 95, single trip to South Africa, max 21 days, meds for atrial fibrillation, asthma, high blood pressure.  Going with paid carer.
  • Travel – Mrs S – female aged 87, 14 nights to Turkey.  Osteoporosis, Diabetes 2, COPD, Bowell cancer clear, tumour on lung that hasn’t been cleared yet.

Motor

  • Motor – Mr C – male aged 90, Seat Ibiza 2005 1.2.  Full UK licence, no points
  • Motor – Mr G – male aged 88 with 2ltr BMW X3, 1 yr old.  No points, convictions.
  • Motor – Mr C – male aged 89 Mercedes C2 20 CDI, no points, convictions.
  • Motor – Mrs M – female aged 86 with 3 points for speeding.

 

ENDS

Notes to editors

1. For further information please contact:

BIBA press office:

Becky Pledge, Communications Coordinator

020 7397 0231

pledger@biba.org.uk

 

2. The original agreement Transparency and access in motor and travel insurance for older people can be accessed at: https://www.biba.org.uk/UploadedFiles/418agreement.pdf

 

3. About British Insurance Brokers' Association:

 

The British Insurance Brokers' Association (BIBA) is the UK's leading general insurance organisation representing the interests of insurance brokers, intermediaries and their customers.

 

BIBA membership includes just under 2,000 regulated firms having merged with the Institute of Insurance Brokers (IIB) in November 2011.

 

General insurance brokers contribute 1% of GDP to the UK economy and BIBA brokers employ more than 100,000 staff.

 

BIBA helps more than 400,000 people a year to access insurance protection through it’s Find a Broker service, both online and via the telephone.

 

Brokers provide professional advice to businesses and individuals, playing a key role in the identification, measurement, management, control and transfer of risk. They negotiate appropriate insurance protection tailored to individual needs.

 

BIBA is the voice of the industry advising members, the regulators, consumer bodies and other stakeholders on key insurance issues.   BIBA provides unique schemes and facilities, technical advice, guidance on regulation and business support and is helping to raise, and maintain, industry standards.