An elderly couple has raised concerns over the Age UK insurance scheme which increased their travel insurance costs by 600 per cent following the Help the Aged and Age Concern merger.
87 year old Geoffrey Pulzer and his wife Julienne were left shocked as Geoffrey was quoted £1,002 for an annual travel insurance policy which last year cost just £168.
Age UK changed insurance provider from Liverpool Victoria to Fortis when the two charities merged earlier this year.
Speaking with Civil Society a spokesperson for Age UK said that award-winning Fortis was a trusted insurer and that as of May it became the sole provider for approximately 460,000 home, travel and car insurance policies through the combined charity:
“Following the merger of Age Concern and Help the Aged, a full review was completed to identify how to best meet customers’ needs and it was agreed that one insurer should be appointed to ensure a consistent and effective service to the merged customer base.
“Fortis was selected because of its longstanding record in providing customers with trusted products and commitment to delivering excellent service to people in later life.”
But Geoffrey is not satisfied, telling the Telegraph: “We can't understand why there is such a difference and want to know why Age UK has picked an insurance partner that offers such poor value for people our age.”
Most providers do not quote for people over 80
Age UK in turn advise customers renewing insurance policies to “shop around in order to get the best level of cover” and add that, “Most providers do not quote for people over the age of 80 and some companies who previously provided cover for this age group no longer do.
"Our long term pricing strategy demonstrates our commitment to providing appropriate insurance to those in later life, that they may not be able to get elsewhere."
Age UK confirmed that while they have reviewed Geoffrey's current policy, they were "unable to comment on the previous quote provided to Mr and Mrs Pulzer and therefore unable to make any direct comparison to the premium previously charged," but advised that new factors had arisen inbetween the times the policies were taken out, adding: "When assessing this risk, several factors are taken into account which will generate the premium.
"These factors include pre-existing medical conditions, age, policy type, policy duration and geographical area. Having reviewed this case we can confirm that the premium provided was based on careful consideration of all the above criteria, which was provided at the time and under went thorough risk analysis."