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Protection providers set out gender pipeline plans

Roger Edwards

Bright Grey and Scottish Provident will give limited “initial” protection cover to customers with applications in the pipeline in the run-up to 21 December to ensure they secure cover at cheaper, gender specific rates.

By providing initial cover a contract has been entered into before 21 December, when pricing by gender becomes illegal, meaning providers can offer gender specific rates.

Once the underwriting process is complete, customers will have 30 days to accept the terms. Cases still in the pipeline after 22 March will be processed on gender neutral rates.

Bright Grey will impose initial cover limits of £300,000 for life cover, £125,000 for critical-illness cover and £15,000 a year for income protection cover while Scottish Provident will impose limits of £500,000, £350,000 and £15,000 a year respectively.

Bright Grey and Scottish Provident managing director Roger Edwards says: “This is a tremendous opportunity for advisers’ clients to benefit from pre-gender rates right up until the very last minute.”

Zurich will switch to gender neutral rates on its whole of life plan and income protection plan on 10 December and 17 December for its level protection and decreasing mortgage plan.

Applications still in the underwriting process after 20 December will be offered gender neutral rates.

In March 2011, the European Court of Justice ruled insurers cannot price products based on gender from 21 December, 2012.

Ageas Protect, LV=, Legal & General have aready released their pipeline strategies.

Ageas will enter into a contract with the customer before the underwriting stage although the customer will only be covered for accidental death cover until the underwriting process is complete.

LV= will switch to gender neutral rates on 1 December but will offer gender specific rates to customers who submit applications before that date. L&G requires all relevant documents to be submitted by 21 December and the cover must be fully underwritten by this date to secure gender specific pricing.

Aviva, Friends Life, PruProtect and Aegon have not released their plans.

Plan Money managing partner Peter Chadborn says: “It is about time the other providers reveal their hands. Time is running out.”

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