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Opinion: Yes we can...

If you want Mr. Sensitive – talk to an insurance broker. In this wonderful world of acceptance and tolerance, the very words we use to describe difference are frowned upon.

Wednesday, January 14th 2009, 5:21AM

by Russell Hutchinson

It is now rare to hear judgments made about people on the basis of sex, job, age, weight, height, or health. By and large, it is a good thing that this is rare. So we can hardly blame the average Joe – or Jane for that matter – for getting a little hot under the collar when insurance companies ask them lots of personal questions so that they charge more money for certain risks.

They are just not used to this being done any more. One asked: “Can they do that?” Of course: “yes, they can.” There is a special Human Rights Act exemption for insurance.

We don’t need sensitivity training to remember not to describe someone as old, fat, sick or describe their job as bad.

The great value of commission incentives makes us all the model of compassion when dealing with clients. Jokes about “too short for their weight” and “as wide as they are tall” are kept for good-natured chuckles with mates.

Daily, advisers deliver increasingly intolerant verdicts from tougher underwriters to clients with great love and kindness. But it would help if there were just a little more reality from our other friends in the media and the community at large that such things as age, weight, and disease remain as real today as they were in less tolerant times gone by.

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