Medical financial advice specialist Unusual Risks has accused life insurance providers of failing to properly consider business from HIV sufferers.
Unusual Risks surveyed the 12 biggest life insurance providers in the UK and four – Prudential, Fortis, Zurich and Scottish Provident – were willing to write life insurance business for people with HIV. But marketing manager Chris Morgan says only Prudential offered competitive prices.
Morgan says a test case, described as the healthiest client with HIV the firm had represented, was rejected by Fortis and Scottish Provident. Zurich offered life insurance cover on a premium of £10 per £1,000 while Prudential quoted £5 per £1,000. He says: “It is a totally ridiculous situation, it just does not make sense. Zurich did not sit down and look at the actual risk presented by this client whatsoever. What you have got is companies coming to the market on a pot shot, trying to take a bit of the market and get some claim experience at the expense of the client.”
Zurich UK Life underwriting and claims director Phil Brown says: “The insurability of HIV-positive customers is still in its infancy and as such our position is to continue to assess each applicant on their own merits, considering the many aspects of risk involved.”
A Fortis spokesman says: “We do not automatically exclude cover for customers with any pre-existing conditions. We assess every case on a range of factors in arriving at decisions on whether terms can be offered.”
Scottish Provident head of underwriting and claims Phil Stafford says: “We are most likely to offer rated terms where the customer has undetectably low viral load, has had a consistently high CD4 count, good compliance with anti-viral treatment and has an insurance need of 10 years or less.”
Aegon does consider business from HIV sufferers but Morgan says he was told by its adviser line that this was not the case.