Are in­sur­ers guilty of dis­crim­i­na­tion?

Sunday Independent (Ireland) - - Letters -

Sir — Can some­one en­lighten me? The Equal­ity Act 20002004 specif­i­cally for­bids dis­crim­i­na­tion un­der nine head­ings, in­clud­ing age.

Ev­ery school, em­ployer and busi­ness in Ire­land must ad­here to this act. But there ap­pears to be one ex­cep­tion — the in­sur­ance in­dus­try.

I took out a whole-life pol­icy in 1991 with an in­sur­ance com­pany. I was not in­formed at the time that the sec­ond I turned 60 years of age, my pre­mium would in­crease dra­mat­i­cally. I am now 69. My monthly pre­mium is three times more now than it was when I was 59, and it will con­tinue to in­crease on an an­nual ba­sis!

The com­pany says that this is the na­ture of in­sur­ance. It is also the na­ture of pubs, clubs and ho­tels to refuse ser­vice to any group who, they think, might cause a dis­tur­bance, but that is not al­lowed and they can and will be pros­e­cuted.

Why does this caveat not ap­ply to the in­sur­ance in­dus­try?

Is there any­one out there with deeper pock­ets than my­self who might be minded to chal­lenge this naked goug­ing of older peo­ple in the courts? Is there any chance of a class ac­tion?

Any­one in­ter­ested in a class ac­tion may re­quest my email ad­dress from this news­pa­per. Ea­monn Ty­nan,


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