Do life insurance companies discriminate?

Do life insurance companies discriminate?

Disability discrimination in insurance is now illegal. That said, reasonable distinctions based upon actuarial data in insurance assessments are not considered discriminatory as Life insurance is based upon statistical probabilities and measurement.

In 2000 Mr Graeme Innes AM, the then Deputy Disability Discrimination Commissioner stated “ …insurers are in the business of insuring against risks, not already known certainties. The Disability Discrimination Act allows for distinctions and exclusions based on disability if and where this is reasonable. Reasonableness can be established on the basis of actuarial data that is reasonable to rely on in the circumstances, or by reference to other relevant factors. …"

What is reasonable? Section 46 of the DDA contains a specific exemption for the Insurance and Superannuation Industry to recognise that some informed judgment is part of the nature of most types of insurance in Australia. Reasonable decisions based upon actuarial or statistical data where this is reasonable available are permitted".


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