Meeroken geen risicofactor voor verzekeraars

In een onderzoek, dat werd uitgevoerd onder een aantal grote wereldwijd opererende verzekeraars, blijkt dat passief roken niet gezien wordt als een risicofactor.

Het onderzoek werd telefonisch uitgevoerd door één van de vele nieuwe actiegroepen die in Engeland ontstaan zijn na de stemming over het algemene rookverbod in het Engelse Lagerhuis.

Underwriters hold a key responsibility in assessing risks for weighting of policies. Whilst those with exisiting health problems, dangerous jobs or smokers face policy loading to reflect their personal risk, no such policy loading occurs for “passive smokers”.

In our brief survey each assurance company helpdesk adviser sought an opinion from underwiters departments. Two leading firms, headquartered in Scotland where the ban on smoking in public places is enforced, denied passive smoking presents a risk.

Paul Kudarenko of Scottish Widows (Lloyds TSB Group) stated after enquiry with underwriters that they would only require to know if a person has directly smoked or taken nicotine products within the last year. Passive smoking is simply not an issue.

And Barry Scott of Standard Life confirmed this. Standard Life, who have lost billions of pounds sterling in the last four years, have every reason to take steps to protect their finances. Even so, underwriters there charged with the high responsibility of risk assessment, find no reason to treat passive smoking as an issue.

Assurance underwriters take into account many factors in their policies and practices, including scientific evidence and mortality rates. But their findings conflict directly with those put forward by UK government authorities.

So who’s wrong?

The qualification as actuary is considered one of the most difficult to get, rating along with surgeons and architects. It would appear incredible that actuaries in their work as underwriters all around the world could get the passive smoking issue wrong.

Government ministers, though, take ”evidence” and opinion from interested parties and lobbyists. Those with the biggest clout and the largest coffers tend, in time, to succeed.

The Scottish Executive in presenting and succeeding with ban legislation in the Scottish Parliament did not appear to mention underwriter findings in their debate. Nor, so far, does the current debate in The House of Lords at Westminster seem to have included the issue.

Passive smoking not an insurance risk

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  • "Es ist schwieriger, eine vorgefaßte Meinung zu zertrümmern als ein Atom."
    (Het is moeilijker een vooroordeel aan flarden te schieten dan een atoom.)
    Albert Einstein

  • "Als je alles zou laten dat slecht is voor je gezondheid, dan ging je kapot"
    Anonieme arts

  • "The effects of other people smoking in my presence is so small it doesn't worry me."
    Sir Richard Doll, 2001

  • "Een leugen wordt de waarheid als hij maar vaak genoeg wordt herhaald"
    Joseph Goebbels, Minister van Propaganda, Nazi Duitsland

  • "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win."
    Mahatma Gandhi

  • "There''s no such thing as perfect air. If there was, God wouldn''t have put bristles in our noses"
    Coun. Bill Clement

  • "Better a smoking freedom than a non-smoking tyranny"
    Antonio Martino, Italiaanse Minister van Defensie

  • "If smoking cigars is not permitted in heaven, I won't go."
    Mark Twain

  • I've alllllllways said that asking smokers "do you want to quit?" and reporting the results of that question, as is, is horribly misleading. It's a TWO part question. After asking if one wants to quit it must be followed up with "Why?" Ask why and the majority of the answers will be "because I'm supposed to" (victims of guilt and propaganda), not "because I want to."
    Audrey Silk, NYCCLASH