Why are insurers still turning away LGBT customers?
Companies routinely reject applicants with Aids or who are HIV-positive – it’s time for change Which is the least likely group to buy insurance? Twenty-five-year-olds on a stag weekend in Barcelona? Nineteen-year-olds recklessly driving without cover? No, it’s the LGBT community, according to Steve Wardlaw, head of innovative new insurer, Emerald Life. “There is a massive distrust of insurers in the community,” he says, adding that they are 50% more likely to have no insurance at all. “A lot still think they won’t get cover, especially life insurance, if they are gay. They feel so disenfranchised, they don’t bother.” In my early days as a journalist on a trade paper in the late 1980s I remember well an appalling conversation with the marketing manager of a (then) major insurer when the HIV/Aids epidemic was at its height and insurers were determined to avoid having any gay men on their books. “They’re quite easy to spot,” he bragged, as his PR person squirmed. “If the application comes from a middle-aged, single, antique dealer with a Volvo then we know straight away.” Like