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UK broker brings tailored insurance to LGBT community

UK broker brings tailored insurance to LGBT community

UK broker brings tailored insurance to LGBT community
What claims to be the UK’s first insurance provider designed specifically for the gay and lesbian community launched this week, targeting the almost 80% of the LGBT community that are unhappy with the insurance companies treat them.

Moving away from generic insurance products offered on a ‘one size fits all’ basis, Emerald Life will provide home, term life, wedding and pet insurance with travel to follow shortly, for the 2.2 million LGBT adults over the age of 30 in the UK.

Co-founder Steve Wardlaw, chairman of Emerald Life said that at a time when the insurance industry’s focus is on assessing how Solvency II will impact competition in the marketplace, the LGBT community is still waiting for a basic equality of experience.

“For me, 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. 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,” Wardlaw said.

“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.” 

Emerald Life worked with YouGov to survey 3,000 individuals about 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.

Emerald is tackling this criticism by not making assumptions as to one’s gender or that of a partner; providing legal expenses cover for service provider discrimination based on a customer’s sexuality; and not automatically excluding HIV+ from medical cover.

Top five areas of general concern with insurance companies that UK consumers would change





Stop practice of automatically increasing premiums each year




Write policy docs in plain language




Mispleading promos that carry misleading exclusions in the small print




Stop large bonuses / cap on Exec pay




Settle claims much quicker