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Group Insurance (Armed Forces)

Volume 361: debated on Tuesday 4 June 1940

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asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he can now make some statement regarding the inquiry which is being made by his Department into certain cases of group insurance by the Legal and General Insurance Company in respect of men who have joined the Forces?

I am advised that the company are entitled for the purposes of their group insurances to regard men who have joined the Forces as having left the service of their peacetime employers and the question of the effect of such termination of service on group insurance depends upon the terms of the individual contracts which are subject to considerable variation according to the types of employment covered. Where, however, the original group policy contains no clause specifically excluding war risks, an individual who leaves his employment for service with the Army, Navy or Air Force is permitted to effect a life or endowment assurance upon his life for the amount for which he was insured under the group policy at ordinary rates applicable to a person of his age and without evidence of health and free from the restriction as to war risk. The companies have also undertaken to take special measures to bring this option to the attention of the employés concerned, and I am greatly obliged to my hon. Friend for bringing this matter to my notice.

Will the Minister face the facts? Are not these men who have left to serve in the Forces, pulling their full weight; and is it not a most deplorable manœuvre on the part of the Legal and General Insurance Company to seek to evade their obligation to give fair treatment to these men? I think it is very wrong.

It applies to all people who leave their service to take service with the Army, Navy or Air Force.

Will the Minister see that publicity is given to this matter? It is a scandal and it is exceedingly important that the facts should be known.

I think that publicity is being given to it at the present time. The answer sets out the full facts.