Skandia will start offering gender neutral quotes on new protection business from 5 November, just under seven weeks before the European Union gender directive comes into effect.
Customers who have a quote from Skandia before 5 November will have to submit an application before 3 December to secure a gender specific rate.
The provider, which operates in the high-net-worth section of the market, claims it has revamped its price structure so some customers will pay less when gender neutral pricing comes into force than they would now. However, Skandia would not provide details about which customers would receive lower premiums.
Skandia is offering a price promise which states that any gender specific applications still in the pipeline on 3 December will be offered the lower of the gender neutral and the gender specific price.
Skandia has also introduced a tele-underwriting service so that advisers now only have to submit an application online with all of the medical details being obtained by employees of Medicals Direct. It says this will speed up the application process and lessen the likelihood of non-disclosure.
Skandia is also increasing its non-medical and financial underwriting limits so more people will be able to get cover without further medical or financial assessment. These vary depending on the application but, on the whole, it means further medical assessments will be done more by a nurse screening, with less of an emphasis on GP reports.
Skandia head of protection Ian Jeffries says: “We think it is important that customers and advisers have certainty about the prices that will be applied to their policies and not have a New Year pipeline hang-over. We are providing the necessary tools to start quoting on the new basis well ahead of the G-Day deadline.”