Older motorists ‘discriminated against’ by car insurance providers

Older motorists in the UK often encounter discrimination from car insurance providers when they approach them for a quote, new research suggests. The study by Age Concern and Help the Aged reveals that half of motor insurance companies automatically exclude people aged 80 and over seeking a quote, regardless of their health status.

The release of the research coincides with the publication of the Government Equalities Office’s response to a consultation on “Ending Age Discrimination in Goods and Public Services”, in relation to the Equality Bill. It recommends that the insurance industry be allowed to continue using upper age limits and to refuse quotes, something Age Concern and Help the Aged say endorses – and possibly increases – age discrimination across the industry.

Andrew Harrop, head of public policy at the charities, commented that the decision “confirms older people as second-class consumers” when the Equality Bill was intended to promote a new approach to services.

“The insurance industry must wake up to the fact that more of us than ever are living longer, healthier and more active lives,” he added. “Continuing to discriminate against our ageing population is not only bad for older people, it is bad for business.”

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