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One in five over 50s refused insurance because of their age

Posted on 4 April 2017

SunLife has conducted The Big 50 survey

People aged 50 and over say they’ve been refused financial products or charged more for them simply because of their age, according to the latest research from expert over 50s insurer SunLife.

As part of its Welcome to Life After 50 campaign, SunLife has conducted The Big 50 – the 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 think 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.

And it is not just insurers that are discriminating against people over 50; SunLife’s research also found that 20% of those surveyed thought they had been refused finance because of their age.

One 69-yearold 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.

SunLife’s research also found that one in ten people aged over 50 think that financial brands are the worst for ignoring people over 50. But they are missing a trick, as this 69-year-old woman explains:

“It doesn't bother me as I think they are just sad people ignoring the 'Silver Surfer type', after all we usually have time and money and are very savvy.”

Simon Stanney, General Insurance Director at SunLife agrees, and says it is strange that as a society, we are discriminating against a group we all hope we’ll one day join.

“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 £320bn 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.”

Find out more about SunLife’s Welcome to Life After 50 campaign and watch the new TV ad:

Here's the information that you need to know about who we are and the other companies that we work with in order to provide our products and services.

Who are SunLife?

Phoenix Life Limited trades as SunLife and is the provider of the Guaranteed Over 50 Plan, SunLife Insurance and the life insurance policy payment option for Funeral Plans. Phoenix Life Limited’s registered office is at 1 Wythall Green Way, Wythall, Birmingham, B47 6WG (registered in England, no. 1016269). 

SunLife Limited distributes financial products and services and is a company limited by shares, registered office: 1 Wythall Green Way, Wythall, Birmingham, B47 6WG (registered in England, no. 05460862). SunLife Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and is entered on the Financial Services Register (registration no. 769427).

You can contact us by post at SunLife, PO Box 1395, Peterborough, PE2 2TR or by phone on 0800 008 6060.

If you choose to add Funeral Benefit Option to your Guaranteed Over 50 Plan, Dignity Funerals Ltd arranges and provides the funeral services, registered office: 4 King Edwards Court, Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands, B73 6AP (registered in England and Wales, No. 00041598). Dignity Funerals Ltd is a member of the National Association of Funeral Directors.

Who provides the Funeral Plans?

Dignity Funerals Ltd arranges and provides the funeral services, registered office: 4 King Edwards Court, Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands, B73 6AP (registered in England and Wales, No. 00041598). Dignity Funerals Ltd is a member of the National Association of Funeral Directors.

The life insurance policy that pays for your funeral will be provided by Phoenix Life Limited, trading as SunLife.

Who provides My Smarter (ISA)?

My Smarter (ISA) is provided by Scottish Friendly Asset Managers Limited. Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Details can be found on the Financial Services register, registration No. 188832. Member of The Investment Association. Registered Office: Scottish Friendly House, 16 Blythswood Square, Glasgow G2 4HJ.

Who provides the Will writing services?

Hugh James is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA Number:303202).

The information contained on this website is based on Hugh James' understanding of the law of intestacy in England and Wales only as at April 2014. The law in Scotland and Northern Ireland is significantly different. This is for information purposes and is not intended to be legal advice.

Who provides SunLife Pet Insurance

SunLife Pet Insurance is arranged and administered by BDML Connect Limited. BDML Connect Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (No. 309140). Registered in England and Wales Number 02785540. Registered Office: 45 Westerham Road, Bessels Green, Sevenoaks, Kent, TN13 2QB.

Who provides SunLife Home Insurance

SunLife Home Insurance is arranged and administered by BISL Limited and underwritten by a panel of insurers. BISL Limited are an intermediary authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered in England no. 03231094. Registered office Pegasus House, Bakewell Road, Orton Southgate, Peterborough PE2 6YS.

Who provides SunLife Car Insurance

SunLife Car Insurance is arranged and administered by BISL Limited and underwritten by a panel of insurers. BISL Limited are an intermediary authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered in England no. 03231094. Registered office Pegasus House, Bakewell Road, Orton Southgate, Peterborough PE2 6YS.