The ABI has launched an initiative aimed at increasing access to insurance for older customers.

But the move was criticised by Biba for not addressing the lack of cover available to older people.

The initiative will look at ways to help older people shop around for travel and motor insurance. The ABI claims insurance cover is "widely available", although a "minority" experience difficulties.

Biba head of technical services Peter Staddon welcomed the move, but said: "We need to see some real commitment. Not just the ABI paying lip service to older drivers."

Staddon said he had first hand experience of the difficulties which older people experience when trying to source cover. He said: "Insurers are not accepting drivers between the age of 75 and 80, irrespective of what the ABI is saying. I want the ABI to substantiate all this talk."

The ABI said its research shows four out of five older people can buy cover without difficulty. "For a minority, finding the right insurance can be a challenge," it said.

Four million people over 70 hold a full driving licence. The ABI predicts this will rise to 10 million by 2050, when 40% of the driving population will be aged 60 or over.

An ABI spokesman said: "We are looking to create a mechanism whereby if an old person is refused cover by one insurer they can be directed to a relevant provider."