The UK’s first full-service insurance provider designed and tailored for the gay and lesbian community has launched.
A compelling alternative to generic insurance products offered on a ‘one size fits all’ basis, Emerald Life will provide a comprehensive service.
Nationwide research for Emerald Life asked the LGBT community what changes they would make if they ran an insurance company for a day, and the findings were revealing, with almost 40% saying they would change call centre language surrounding the assumption of a partner’s gender and 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 has designed an offer that puts them first – insurance for the now. This is based on three areas of concern for the community.
1. Customer experience
For its customers, Emerald is a place where there are no automatic assumptions as to one’s gender or that of a partner, no judgements and no awkward silences on a call.
2. Product design
Emerald’s focus is to create products that work for the community – real solutions for real people in real situations. For example:
Emerald’s home insurance is the first to provide legal expenses cover for service provider discrimination based on a customer’s sexuality;
HIV+ is not automatically excluded from medical cover in Emerald’s travel or wedding insurance;
Emerald’s wedding insurance covers legal expenses in cases of discriminatory treatment by service providers. None of the top providers for wedding insurance include this in their policies, even in light of recent high-profile cases in the media.
3. Supporting community schemes
Emerald Life will invest time and resources to actively support a range of LGBT community-based initiatives. Already, it is supporting The Albert Kennedy Trust with a rolling internship programme, helping young homeless people from the community with mentoring and work experience. Emerald Chairman Steve Wardlaw is an active Stonewall Ambassador – and the business will also be working with Diversity Role Models, P3 and the Human Dignity Trust in the months ahead.
Emerald’s products are all available online 24/7 www.emeraldlife.co.uk and through a specially-trained call centre team, open 7am-9pm, seven days a week (Tel: 0330 131 9950).
Steve Wardlaw, Chairman of Emerald Life commented: “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. 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.”
Heidi McCormack, CEO of Emerald Life added: “I am passionate about equality, I am passionate about people being able to be themselves and empowering that. With insurance, it is time to level the playing field. We are redefining the customer experience and prioritising our resources on LGBT focused initiatives that will help us grow with the needs of the community and continually improve our delivery of high quality services. At Emerald, it’s not just about providing a set of insurance products, we want the inequalities we have highlighted become a thing of the past.”