A UK insurance provider called Emerald Life that is designed and tailored for the gay and lesbian community has launched.
The insurer’s launch products include term life, home, wedding and pet, with travel to follow shortly.
Emerald Life said it is the UK’s first full-service insurance provider for the gay and lesbian community
Emerald Life said at a time when the insurance industry’s focus is on assessing how Solvency II will impact on competition in the marketplace, and when consumers are bracing themselves for further insurance premium hikes, it believes the LGBT community is still waiting for a basic equality of experience.
The launch of the products comes after nationwide research for Emerald Life asked the LGBT community what changes they would make it they ran an insurance company for a day:
– 39% would change call centre language surrounding the assumption of a partner’s gender;
– 34% would recognise and celebrate LGBT as an important part of the community by depicting real LGBT people in adverts and promotional material;
– 23% would like to see the LGBT community and its interests represented throughout the organisation;
– 22% would like to see their insurer actively work to end discrimination and prejudice based on sexuality.
With 2.2 million LGBT adults over the age of 30 potentially buying insurance products in the UK today, Emerald Life said it has designed an offer that puts them first.
For example, HIV+ is not automatically excluded from medical cover in Emerald’s travel or wedding insurance.
In addition, Emerald’s wedding insurance covers legal expenses in cases of discriminatory treatment by service providers.
Steve Wardlaw, chairman of Emerald Life said it is a matter of serious concern that even in these more enlightened times, the LGBT community does not have true equality of experience in the financial sector.
Wardlaw said: "Our community is becoming much more demanding than it used to be – and rightly so. Historically, if you got something that was second best you were left to feel somehow grateful that a provider would even deal with you in the first place.
"It is hard for big insurers to be nimble and adapt to the subtle and specific things that matter to the LGBT community; they struggle to keep up with the times. We have designed a solution from scratch where our community will know they’ve been thought about from day one."