BIBA has welcomed a consultation paper from the Government Equalities Office that proposes ‘signposting’ of insurance products for older customers.

Under the signposting proposal in the paper, an insurer that is unable to provide products to a person because of their age will be obliged to refer that person either to a company who can meet their needs or a dedicated signposting service.

BIBA argued that signposting will greatly benefit consumers who are excluded from the highly-commoditised and web-based insurance offerings because they do not fit the standard risk model on age.

Currently when these consumers are refused cover they are left to continue their search alone. The signposting system will be of particular help with motor and travel insurance, the association said, as these are the areas identified where some people have difficulty finding insurance protection.

BIBA said it has been calling for greater assistance for consumers and is “delighted” that signposting is being supported in the consultation paper. The association added that its helpline and website already assist consumers to find insurance through a BIBA broker.

“There is a solution through insurance brokers who can arrange insurance cover on the more complex risks,” said BIBA head of corporate affairs Graeme Trudgill. “Signposting will help consumers to find the protection they need, otherwise they run the risk of travelling uninsured. BIBA will continue to work with the Government and will respond to the consultation in full in due course.”

BIBA’s comments follows confirmation from the government that insurers will be exempt from the Equality Act, due to come into force in 2012, which makes it illegal to deny consumers goods based on their age.

Further information about the consultation paper can be found here.

The consultation paper itself can be found in the consultation documents section of the legislation legislation area of our site.