UnumProvident is removing the HIV/Aids exclusion on group income protection policies in a move it claims will make it unique in the marketplace.
All new quotations will automatically include HIV/Aids cover while existing policyholders will have the cover included at their next rate review. The exclusion can only currently be lifted if clients pay an additional premium.
Unum says the move reflects its progressive attitude towards protection, with the Disability Discrimination Act coming into force in October. The Act classifies HIV/Aids as a disability, which means sufferers will be able to claim discrimination if they are dismissed or discriminated against because of their illness.
Unum says lifting the exclusion also protects policyholders' rights under the Data Protection Act, which allows individuals to decline consent for their employer to be told if they have HIV or Aids. Unum says if it told an employer that it declined a claim on the basis of the exclusion, it would reveal that the individual is HIV-positive.
Customer services director Cheryl Stewart says: “The move reflects wider social and policy changes designed to stop discrimination against disabled people in the workplace, such as upcoming adjustments to the Disability Discrimination Act.”