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ABI draws up guidelines to update HIV statement

The ABI&#39s updated code of practice for HIV and insurance is beginning to take shape with its first consultation document published this week.

Last updated in 1997, the statement covers the treatment of applications for life and protection insurance where HIV can be an issue. The ABI has consulted with the insurance industry and groups such as the Terrence Higgins Trust and Pink and is now looking to extend that.

The proposed update includes standard questions for industrywide use in assessing risk levels and supplementary questions to help establish higher or lower-risk levels in specific cases, such as gay men. Assumptions such as using a person&#39s occupation as an indication of their sexuality would be outlawed.

Other proposals include ensuring confidentiality between insurers and applicants, preventing life offices from asking GPs to speculate on risk of infection or non-clinical issues.

One suggestion in the document is that all applicants should be questioned on whether they practice safe sex, to prevent the gay community feeling singled out and to account for the large numbers of heterosexuals also at risk in absolute terms.

ABI head of health Richard Walsh says: “It is important in our view that all customers should feel that they are being treated with respect and that their premiums should fairly reflect the relative risk they bring to the insurance pool.” editor Chris Morgan says: “These proposed best practice guidelines demonstrate a new level of respect towards gay men from the ABI. The real test of respect towards the gay community will be the attitude of the life insurance companies in the coming weeks as the document passes through consultation.”

Bright Grey product director Roger Edwards says: “The protection industry generally has a poor perception among consumers. Any initiative that helps to repair that perception has to be a good thing.”


Former Equitable directors in court

The nine former non-executive directors of Equitable Life being sued for damages by the failed insurer have appeared in court to request the case be thrown out. The hearing, which started on Monday, is expected to last four days. The directors face a £3.3bn lawsuit with Equitable alleging negligence and breach of duty by the […]

LibDems want compensation fund for pensions that have already been lost

The Liberal Democrats are calling for the Government to set up a compensation fund for workers who have already lost their pension pots in occupational scheme wind-ups.At the LibDems&#39 annual conference in Brighton this week, pensions spokesman Steve Webb said he has written a letter to Work & Pensions Secretary Andrew Smith urging the Government […]

Market Harboro&#39 and GMAC take loan steps

Market Harborough Building Society and GMAC-RFC are using through lending to launch a stepped lifetime discount mortgage.Through lending entails GMAC-RFC marketing the product while Market Harborough acquires the mortgage assets the day after completion.The loan has a rate of 2.99 per cent for the first year, a discount of 2.5 per cent from GMAC-RFC&#39s standard […]

Lloyds TSB hit with £2m misselling fine

Lloyds TSB has been hit by the FSA with a £1.9m fine for the misselling of structured products and told to set aside a further £98m for expected compensation payments to investors over 22,500 sales of the product. The fine, which had been widely expected, comes the same week as the Group replaced Scottish Widows […]


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