Consumer comparison website payingtoomuch.com predicts that although life cover has been traditionally cheaper for women because on average they live longer than men, premium costs are likely to increase as both men and women will soon have to pay the same basic premiums.
Michael Ward, managing director of Payingtoomuch.com, said: “To avoid this impending price hike, all new policies must have a start date of no later than 20 December 2012. And to qualify for gender specific premiums applications must be underwritten and accepted with the premium and any exclusions clearly defined, although the premium doesn’t need to have been paid until 20 December 2012.
“As a result so long as everything has been clearly agreed we are able to hold off placing the policy in force until 20 December 2012, meaning premiums will not be payable until that date. However, one word of warning, some insurance companies may start to change to gender neutral pricing before then.
“When 20 December 2012 has passed it won’t be possible to secure gender specific premiums in the future as start dates cannot be back dated. So come 21 December, it will be too late.
“It is also important not to leave things to the last minute – give the insurance company time to do its work. Almost all life insurance goes through an underwriting process, for some this is almost instant but for others it can involve getting a standard report from your doctor which can take up to four weeks.
“Given that there is likely to be a last minute rush and that there is no flexibility on the cut-off date applying early could be prudent.
“Finally, try to get it right first time. This is important as applying for the right amount of cover over the correct term is crucial as policy alterations later on will have to be processed on the gender neutral rates.”