Vero announces plans to remove gender rating from car insurance products
Vero Insurance has announced today that it is working to remove gender-based factors from its pricing and underwriting for its consumer car insurance products.
Sacha Cowlrick, Executive Manager Consumer Insurance at Vero, says that while claims data supports the insurance market’s approach to gender, the company feels that binary gender distinctions are not a true reflection of the gender spectrum of its customers.
“Historically insurers have compared data for ‘male’ and ‘female’ customers, but New Zealanders identify with a much broader range of gender identities,” she says. “As a business we had the option to try and rate or price a more diverse gender spectrum, but we have made the decision that it is simpler and more inclusive to begin the process of removing gender from our underwriting.”
Cowlrick says that the process is complex and will take at least 12 to 18 months.
“There is strong evidence that gender and age together are factors that can help to determine the likelihood that customers will make a claim, and gender can have a significant impact on price for some age ranges,” she says.
“If we were to remove the gender rating on premiums suddenly, it would mean big changes to some customers’ premiums at renewal. We need to do some work in the background to essentially ‘smooth’ the pricing differences to ensure that when we remove gender as a factor altogether it won’t create any sudden premium changes that customers aren’t prepared for.”
Cowlrick says that Vero’s product team consulted with Amplify, it’s employee resource group for LGBTIQ+ employees and allies, to understand the impacts of different approaches to changing its products, and has also identified other changes it can make to create a more inclusive experience.
“For example, we are looking at how customers are named in letters and policy documents, and our Amplify group is working on a guide for customer-facing employees around non-binary customers,” she says.
“While this is a journey and it may take time for our business, I’m proud that Vero is taking steps towards providing more inclusive products and services to gender diverse New Zealanders,” she says.
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