Penalised for getting older?

Today we are featuring the topic of insurance in our Friday enewsletter. As we discussed the different aspects of insurance and why it is important to have sufficient cover for our possessions and ourselves, I mentioned to Debbie how alarmingly high the premiums on our life insurance have become. Coincidentally, the renewal for David’s insurance arrived in the mail yesterday. And I needed more than a cup of tea, a Bex and a good lie down to get over it.

So today I think it is important to discuss why, when it comes to insurance, we seem to be penalised for getting older. NOT for living more recklessly or for poor health practices, but for having birthdays. For the past 20 years we have both paid a monthly fee for income protection insurance, on the basis that we would get about 75 per cent of our salary each month, should we have an accident or a long-term illness. But again, as we get older, the monthly payments were rising so fast, we had to question the value of such insurance. We did not seem to receive any bonus for being loyal customers for such a long time, nor the fact we do not smoke nor have major health issues. Oh no, the premiums went up because we had reached – and then had the nerve to live beyond – significant birthdays. So we voted with our feet, cancelled the insurance, and now pay that money directly into our superannuation, figuring, in the great lottery of life, we are likely to get it back at some stage.

Now we are staring down the barrel of thousands of dollars of yearly premiums to insure our lives so we don’t leave each other in debt should we ‘check out early’. Each year, for the past three years, we have reduced the amount for which David is insured as we simply could not justify the ballooning premium. Last year we reduced the amount for which I am insured. Maybe next year we will cut out one policy all together? I am not sure what is the answer.

I do not begrudge insurance companies making a profit. But where is the recognition of our customer loyalty, our basic good health, our adherence to reasonable healthy lifestyles? Every year a larger bill based on the fact (quoting the operator when I called and questioned this) “Oh, that’s because of your age”. Given our much more sedate lifestyle – a nice night at home watching The Number One Ladies Detective Agency is a real highlight – surely our premium should be going DOWN?

Are you also feeling penalised because of your age? Or do you think Kaye is just being paranoid? Comment below

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