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One in five over 50s faces age discrimination when buying financial products

Joanna Faith
Written By:
Joanna Faith

One in five people over 50 have been refused financial products or been charged more for them because of their age, according to a new report.

Insurer SunLife polled 50,000 people in their 50s, 60s and 70s and found 21% had experienced age discrimination when trying to take out insurance.

The most common complaints arose when buying travel and car insurance, with one respondent saying her travel insurance premium increased as soon as she hit 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.”

In another example, a 70-year-old man said he lost the free travel insurance perk on his current account when he turned 70.

But it seems the problem of age discrimination is not restricted to the insurance industry. The research, which claims to be the largest ever survey of the over 50s, also found that 20% had been refused finance because of their age.

One 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.

The findings suggest one in ten people over 50 think financial brands are the worst for ignoring people over 50.

Simon Stanney, general insurance director at SunLife says: “Age discrimination is still a real challenge facing many people over 50 because of outdated stereotypes and ignorance.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.”