New consultation paper will exempt the industry from age-based pricing ban

Ministers look set to offer insurers a get-out clause from tough new laws designed to prevent age-related discrimination.

The Government Equalities Office (GEO) was on the verge of publishing a consultation paper on how the Equalities Act should apply to the pricing of goods and services as Insurance Times went to press. The paper will exempt the insurance industry from the act, meaning that it will be able to continue to differentiate on price.

Insurance companies will, however, have to justify, with evidence, why they are charging elderly customers a different price.

It was unclear whether the consultation paper would include regulations to force insurance companies to help customers that they have turned down for cover to secure an alternative provider.

City minister Mark Hoban recently told Biba at a private meeting that the government was unwilling to introduce new regulations.

Welcoming the forthcoming paper, Biba head of corporate affairs Graeme Trudgill said: “This is very positive news and a victory for our membership and our customers.”

A GEO spokesman confirmed the consultation paper was due to be published shortly.