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PruProtect reveals gender pricing plans

PruProtect will switch to gender neutral pricing on 21 December for all products except its whole-of-life plan, Money Marketing can reveal.

The provider’s whole-of-life plan will switch to gender neutral rates on 3 November. PruProtect says there is a greater risk of underwriting uncertainty for this product because the sums assured are generally greater and the life assured is generally older, so underwriting takes longer.

PruProtect will guarantee gender neutral rates for customers if all of the underwriting has been completed by 21 December. Customers will then have 90 days to take up the cover.

It has also set up a specialist gender neutral unit to assist in the application process and to ensure applications are able to get through before gender specific pricing is banned.

PruProtect head of account development Phil Jeynes says: “We recognise that there is big pressure on advisers to give clarity to their customers in the run up to G-day. We hope that by announcing these measures we have achieved that.”

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

Earlier this month, Aegon announced that protection customers must accept terms on completed contracts before 21 December in order to secure gender specific rates and it would set up a gender team to help with the application process. Legal & General has adopted the same approach.

Zurich will switch to gender-neutral rates on its whole-of-life plan and income protection plan on 10 December and its level protection and decreasing mortgage plan on 17 December. All applications still in the underwriting process after 20 December will be offered gender-neutral rates.

Bright Grey and Scottish Provident, on the other hand, will give limited “initial” cover to customers with applications in the pipeline until the underwriting has been completed. Cases in the pipeline have until 22 March to complete to secure gender specific rates.

Ageas Protect 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 is complete.

Money Marketing revealed LV= will switch to gender-neutral rates on 1 December, but will offer gender-specific rates to customers who submit applications before that date.

Aviva and Friends Life are yet to release their plans.

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