Letter: Risk assessment

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The Independent Online
Risk assessment

Ivan Massow, quoted in your article "A change in policy on HIV Risk" (31 January), is quite wrong about Allied Dunbar in his assertion that we are "cherry-picking" clients based on discrimination.

The job of our underwriting team is to assess risk, and decide whether to accept that risk. If a customer has a higher than normal risk of dying, for any reason, our actuarial team will have to increase the premium.

As we have come to understand the real risk of contracting Aids more precisely, we have been able to reduce our rating on homosexuals by 60 per cent in the last three years. It may be no coincidence that the number of plans that we offer to homosexuals has been increasing steadily.

We offer a service to the entire population based only on well-established scientific risk-rating principles. Race, creed or sexual orientation per se do not come into it: risk, whatever the reason, does.

PETER KELLY

Protection Marketing Director

Allied Dunbar Assurance plc

Swindon, Wiltshire

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