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Insurers still baffled by pregnancy directive

The Association of British Insurers says its members are still no nearer to understanding the effect of the forthcoming European Union ban on taking pregnancy into account when underwriting.

The association’s head of EU and international affairs Hugh Savill says its recent seminar on the EU gender directive highlighted a number of issues, including def- initions, legal views and whether past and present pregnancy are both accoun ted for.

The directive, which comes into force in December, will ban providers from treating people differently as a result of pregnancy or childbirth.

Savill says the only way to see the real effect of the pregnancy prohibition will be through a test case in the courts.

He says: “The prohibition is set in stone in the EU dir- ective and comes into force in December. The only way we are going to get further clarification is through a court case and we are not in any hurry to have one of those.

“The prohibition is very simple and clear, it says you are not allowed to treat people differently as a result of pregnancy or childbirth but, immediately you look into the detail of some of the issues raised by it, insurers are a little perplexed on how to proceed.”

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