Over 50s insurer SunLife People has found that people aged 50 and over are being refused financial products or charged more for them simply because of their age.
As part of its Welcome to Life After 50 campaign, SunLife has conducted The Big 50 – its largest ever survey of people in their 50s, 60s and 70s – and the research has found that, since turning 50 years old, 21% of people say they have experienced age discrimination when trying to take out insurance.
The most common complaints are when buying travel and car insurance; one respondent said her travel insurance premium increased as soon as she turned 50. “I phoned for travel insurance with a company I had used the year before when I was 49, but the rate went up drastically with the knowledge that I had turned 50,” she said. “My circumstances hadn’t changed from the year before.”
A 70-year old man said he lost the free travel insurance perk on his current account when he turned 70 and a woman in her 70s said her car insurance premium went up when she turned 70. “I’ve never had an accident so think it is totally unfair, especially as I spent over 20 years training minibus drivers,” she said.
Furthermore, SunLife’s research also found that 20% of those surveyed said they had been refused finance because of their age.
One 69-year old woman said when she wanted a loan for a car she realised her age was against her and out of the question for her older husband.
“As car loans are generally secured against the car I found this even more difficult to understand,” she said. While another lady said that despite the fact she has always had a good credit score, once she was a pensioner, she was refused new credit cards.
Simon Stanney, general insurance director at SunLife, said: “Age discrimination is still a real challenge facing many people over 50 because of outdated stereotypes and ignorance. But the reality is, the growing over 50s sector is worth £320 bn a year to the UK economy and this is only set to increase, yet over 50s are often neglected, with very few providers offering truly competitive cover.
“There’s a huge opportunity for a brand that understands what people over 50 value and can represent them well; our new Welcome to Life After 50 campaign, aims to do just that.”