Pensioners left in the cold by finance firms
Two out of three car insurers have age restrictions, while banks are shutting branches every 48 hours
Motor insurers are still imposing maximum age limits on customers, a shock report published by Which? today has uncovered.
On top of that, many fail to help older drivers find adequate cover, despite new rules which came into place in April recommending that firms help customers find an insurer which is prepared to cover them.
Some 21 of the top 30 car insurers the consumer group examined have age limits, with 14 refusing cover to anyone older than 85.
The news comes against the background of an alarming report published on Wednesday by the International Longevity Centre which showed more older people than ever are being excluded from financial services.
The report found that almost one in 10 people aged 80 or more became excluded from financial products in a six-year period. That's compared to only one in 50 among those in their fifties becoming excluded over the same time frame.
David Sinclair, assistant director at the centre, said: "We should not be complacent about financial exclusion. The most disadvantaged are being hit hardest as a result of a lack of access to financial services and products."
The report revealed that almost 10 per cent of older people do not have a current account and a quarter have no life insurance. People with no banking facilities end up paying more for many bills – such as crucial heating and lighting – as they are unable to pay by standing order or direct debit.
Michelle Mitchell, charity director general of Age UK, said: "Many of these services are essential and so need to be designed with everyone in mind, including older people."
She said many pensioners have become excluded by banks because local branches have been closed, call centres are inaccessible or simply because many older folk find it very hard to get cash out.
A report published by the Campaign for Community Banking this week suggested that things are getting worse for pensioners who rely on their local bank branch as one is shut for good every two days.
More than 1,200 towns and large villages in Britain are now without a bank and 900 have just one branch left, according to the campaign.
HSBC has closed the most branches in the last decade, shutting 386. This year alone has seen 47 HSBC branches disappear as part of its ongoing cost-cutting. Meanwhile, Lloyds TSB has shut 354 and Barclays has closed 162 branches since 2002.
When it comes to car cover, Which? named and shamed insurance giant Direct Line – which also owns Churchill and Privilege – as appearing to exclude people aged 80 or older.
"When we tested the online car insurance quote services for Direct Line brands and entered a date of birth for a driver aged 80 or above, we received an error message saying 'applicants must be younger than 80 when cover is due to begin'," Which? reported.
Direct Line said older people should call for a quote, rather than use its online service.
A spokesman said: "We are unable to provide quotes on our websites for drivers over the age of 79. We never decline to quote for a driver on their age and currently provide cover for many customers into their late nineties."
Which? said there are six companies which have no maximum age limits that are worth contacting: Axa, LV, Nationwide building society, RIAS, Saga and Swiftcover.
Independent Partners; request a free guide on NISAs from Hargreaves Lansdown
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
Sony hack: Angelina Jolie branded 'seriously out of her mind' in further embarrassing leaked email saga
Panic Saturday: 13 million Britons spend £1.2bn – while 13 million others across the country live in poverty unable to afford food
iJobs Money & Business
$200 - $350 per annum: Carlton Senior Appointments: Managing Producer Office...
$125 - $225 per annum: Carlton Senior Appointments: San Fran - Investment Advi...
Up to £70,000 per annum + benefits: Sheridan Maine: Are you a qualified accoun...
Up to £65,000 per annum + benefits: Sheridan Maine: Are you a qualified accoun...
Day In a Page
A three-bedroom villa with self-contained flat, minutes from Lake Windermere
A deceptively spacious, beautifully presented Georgian home with 3000sq ft of living space and five reception rooms
A five-bedroom Victorian home with four receptions, superb gardens and paddock in Pembury
An eight-bedroom house on the south side of the The Green with cinema, wine cellars and summer house
This 17th century beauty is full of rustic cosiness, while the detached home office means you can also run a business
This five-bedroom red-brick beauty overlooks the village green and sits in just under two acres of land
Four exclusive apartments in a Grade II-listed former medical school with 2,275 sq ft of living space and 18ft ceilings
A five-bedroom terraced house on the popular Peterborough Estate, ideally located for both Eel Brook Common and South Park
A state-of-the-art farm-building conversion on the former Cliveden Estate, with 11,420sq ft of internal space, cinema and wine cellar
A three-bedroom, 15th-century cottage with original features in the picturesque village of Sissinghurst
A six-bedroom terraced house with large south-facing roof terrace, cinema room and wine cellar
A new seven-bedroom home built in Queen Anne-style with swimming pool and parkland views in Mortimer
A listed, four-bedroom farmhouse in the rural hamlet of Rushall with detached barn, four acres of gardens and paddocks
A first-floor flat with two bedrooms, a spacious reception room and communal grounds in a leafy part of London
A three-bedroom flat with a spacious rootop terrace and balcony, accessed from a private gated courtyard
A Grade II-listed pile with six bedrooms, stables and 39 acres of grounds in Standlake
A two-bedroom flat with boutique hotel-style interiors, close to the foodie haunt of West End Lane
A two-bedroom flat in a beautiful old vicarage, with many original features, close to the city centre
A three-bedroom 16th-century home with an aga kitchen, private gardens and heated outdoor pool, in Hadleigh
A three-bedrom home in sought-after Queen's Gate Mews, with Italian marble-finished bathrooms
Surrounded by glorious countryside in the village of Udimore, sits this impressive four-kiln oast and barn conversion
A five-bedroom house in the picturesque village of Kettlewell, north Yorkshire
An 18th-century former coaching inn with original staircase, open fireplaces and beams throughout
A Grade II-listed Georgian town house with three bedrooms and a south-facing courtyard, near Arundel Castle
Feel on top of the world at this über chic penthouse on the 37th floor of one of Europe’s tallest blocks.
A Grade II-listed Victorian villa with six bedrooms and two further cottages, all with spectacular sea views
A grade II-listed, Georgian cottage with mature 50ft garden, perfect for summer entertaining
A magnificent Georgian pile with turrets, seven bedrooms, a heated pool and four acres of gardens
Fairoak Farm has five bedroom suites, gym, outdoor swimming pool and golf course
Chic two-bedroom river-fronted flat with a private lift that delivers you directly to your home
A spectacular seven-bedroom Tudor pile, once owned by Henry VIII, with 18 acres of land
A seven-bedroom Georgian property previously used as a picturesque wedding venue
A split-level flat in a church conversion with two en suite bedrooms and 1,200sq ft of living space
A three-bedroom bungalow situated behind an impressive stone wall, £645,000
Windsor Castle overlooks this three-bedroom Victorian cottage located on one of Windsor's smartest roads
Chapel House is a former vicarage with nine bedrooms in the beautiful Upper Wye Valley
A five-bedroom B&B and separate owner's accomodation with potential for conversion
Enjoy summer by the Thames in this two double-bedroom converted warehouse in Rotherhithe village
A one-bedroom, luxury apartment with private gym and concierge service in Moorgate
A four-bedroom house in Hermitage Gardens with three reception rooms and landscaped gardens