EU gender rule change drives insurance sales

A DEADLINE for an EU directive banning gender discrimination by insurers caused a “huge” 23 per cent boost in sales for two Scottish protection specialists.

Bright Grey and Scottish Provident, the protection businesses of Royal London Group, yesterday said new business for the 12 months to the end of December increased almost a quarter to £482 million on a “present value of new business premiums” (PVNBP) basis – a measure of new business growth.

Roger Edwards, managing director of both businesses, said the end of December in particular saw a “flurry” of new business, as women took advantage of buying cheaper insurance before the 21 December deadline for the imposition of the European ruling on gender.

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He insisted that the “huge boost in business” as a result of the directive coming into force would continue to be a “springboard to momentum” this year.

The company added that its Irish business, Caledonian Life, grew its market share from 2.5 per cent in 2011 to almost 6 per cent in 2012.

Last week, Royal London’s pension division, Scottish Life, reported record sales for the year as financial advisers 
prepared clients for new rules affecting employee pensions.

Mutually-owned Royal 
London will announce its 2012 financial results on Thursday 28 March.