Baigrie questions non-underwritten offerings
One of the biggest challenges facing the protection industry is to put all policies on risk before the gender directive comes into force on 21 December, Tom Baigrie has said.
The chief executive of London-based LifeSearch said there were many implications of the European Union gender-neutral pricing directive, including the need to shift clients to higher rates now rather than leaving it until the last minute.
He said: “Doing that is treating customers fairly.
“If they don’t, life companies will have mis-led every customer.
“You can’t offer one set of rates and then say they are to go up.”
Mr Baigrie said simple products are not necessarily cheap, and questioned whether non-underwritten products were ever suitable for customers.
Johnny Timpson, bancassurance financial protection specialist for Lloyds Bank/Scottish Widows agreed that underwriting was a must, even for simple products.
He said not doing so would make simple products so expensive that nobody would be able to buy them.
Mr Timpson said: “Next year will all be about questioning people’s need for income protection.”
Peter Chadborn, director of Essex-based Plan Money, said the fourth quarter would mean panic because of the EU directive and said he did not expect a difference in sales volumes early next year.
Mr Baigrie added: “In the fourth quarter I see the euro crisis, mass unemployment across Europe and economic maelstrom.”