Treasury response casts doubt on Ageas’s pricing promise
Gender-based pricing promise ‘not in the spirit of the ruling’
Ageas’s gender pricing promise has been thrown into doubt following the Treasury’s response to the gender directive.
Circulated yesterday, the Treasury’s response to the European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruling that insurance should be gender-neutral from 21 December stated that any attempts to bypass the deadline will not be “looked upon favourably”.
Ageas revealed last week that it would guarantee any applications submitted by the 20 December would be subject to gender-based pricing, allowing time to process applications that need medical examinations, GP reports or underwriting.
However, the Treasury response said, “Insurers should not attempt to put in place artificial structures before 21 December to circumvent the impact of the ECJ judgment after this date. Any activity of this nature would clearly be contrary to the spirit of the judgment and is unlikely to be looked upon favourably by the European Commission or the courts.”
The Ageas promise applies to applications submitted before midnight 20 December, completed by the end of February 2013 and with cover activated by March 2013.
The company sought legal advice before releasing the promise, which other protection firms are currently doing.
Ian Smart, head of product development and technical support at Bright Grey and Scottish Provident, said the Treasury response does not tell a great deal more on the issue and instead urges firms to seek their own legal advice.
“We need to be careful and sure on our own ground,” he adds, saying that Bright Grey and Scottish Provident’s moves will depend partly on legal advice and partly on what is possible to implement in the time left.
Ageas was not available for comment.