Life Insurers 'Living in Dark Ages' for HIV+ Clients. 23/11/10

Third of the top UK providers offer life policies to HIV positive people

IFAOnline

By Owain Thomas
23 November 2010

Life insurers are ‘living in the dark ages’ and stigmatising HIV positive clients meaning their needs are not being met, according to research.

The survey conducted by intermediary Unusual Risks found that just a third of the top UK providers offer life policies to HIV positive people. And only two of the four who do so undertake a full pre-sales quotation procedure, meaning many people living with the disease are being asked to complete applications, submit to medicals and blood tests before any indication of the cost of insurance is offered. The adviser firm believes this is both non-competitive and unfair on applicants although it recognised that insurers have the right to decline applicants on medical grounds.

However, it felt that insurers were not dedicating enough attention to this developing market or taking the needs of HIV Positive people seriously enough. Chris Morgan, marketing manager of Unusual Risks, was shocked and concerned by some of the responses from the providers it contacted about HIV life assurance. "Only four responded yes, with some of the remaining companies even appearing shocked we had asked the question," he said. "Some of our findings and answers received from insurers regarding HIV life assurance are completely worrying.

It is apparent that the majority of companies are still living in the dark ages and attaching a stigma to HIV. "The survey established that either companies are avoiding the issue completely by not offering cover, or in the main offering completely inadequate, over-priced products and services to HIV positive applicants.' The four providers who originally said they would cover HIV positive clients, only two, Prudential and Zurich, accepted the test case put to them by the adviser.

 

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