Velliv, the Danish life and pension insurer, has been fined by the country’s Prosecution Service, National Enhed for Særlig Kriminalitet (NSK), because of discriminatory insurance terms for pregnant women.

Velliv has accepted and paid the fine of DKK1.1m (€148,000).

In the period from June 2019 to December 2020, Velliv was charged with having had insurance terms that discriminated against pregnant women, and thus violated the rules in the country’s Equal Treatment Act which covers, among other things, the equal treatment of men and women in connection with insurance, pensions and similar financial benefits.

In a statement Velliv said: “The terms in question only applied to approximately 0.3% of Velliv’s customers. Velliv should not have had the terms in question and regrets the case to not least the customers in Velliv.” The insurer declined to comment further.

The fine is a result of Finanstilsynet, the Danish Financial Supervisory Authority (FSA), initiating an investigation in the autumn of 2020 into 23 insurers’ possible breaches of the rules of equal treatment in relation to pregnant women. The regulator asked the companies for an account of their insurance terms, amongst other things, and found that Velliv had terms that were discriminatory in pregnancy-related matters.

The supevisor subsequently reported Velliv to the police, which led to the NSK, formerly Statdsadvokaten for Særlig Øonomisk og Internatonal Kriminalitet (SØIK), the Prosecutor for Special Economic and International Crime, issuing the fine to Velliv.

Last year PensionDanmark announced it had been reprimanded by the FSA for having insurance terms in one of its products that exempted coverage in connection with pregnancy or childbirth. At the time PensionDanmark said it would be checking to see if the incorrect terms had prevented any female members of relevant age from using the product, and that it accepted the reprimand. 

In non-discrimination-related Danish supervisory news, last week pension fund PFA said it received 12 official orders to correct its procedures from Finanstilsynet, including a warning that the many key projects it had on the go could pose a risk to its business model if they were not implemented successfully.