Press Releases

London emerges as the opportunity capital for LGBT Britain - But financial risks also most intensely felt


London is the place where members of the LGBT community are most likely to have forged ahead with significant life events and career plans in 2016 – although they are also the community members most exposed to the financial uncertainties that can come with these plans – according to new research from Emerald Life.

The findings suggest London’s position as a world centre for celebrating diversity, a city where people of all walks of life can achieve their life goals and ambitions free of discrimination or assumption. The Emerald research conducted by YouGov polled a representative sample of 1,011 members of the LGBT community across the UK and asked them about their life milestones for the six-month period between September 2015 and March 2016. The findings showed that community members in the capital were those most likely (65%) in the UK to be planning a major milestone event during the period - compared to 45% for those in the Midlands and 61% in the North.

Further, LGBT community members in London were those most likely in the UK to be planning for a number of specific events and activities. They were most likely in the UK to be: organising a big holiday (27%), planning a career change (23%), moving home (18%), undertaking a major renovation project (8%), starting a new relationship (7%) or moving in with their partner (5%).

These findings suggest London is a nurturing and enabling hub for the community and the higher than average earnings in the Capital gives many community members a greater ability to be able to afford the projects and goals that matter.

However, the research also indicated that the London LGBT community was more likely to living to limits financially, a position that brought with it greater instability and, at times, anxiety.

Asked about their concerns for the six-month period, LGBT community members in London were the most likely in the UK to say they worried about losing their job or income (20%) – and 32% also commented on having a poor work-life balance, the result of long working hours.

Financial insecurity was also apparent with clear signs of a significant insurance gap. Community members in London were the most likely in England to say they had never bought any insurance products 21% - twice as likely as their counterparts in the South of England (10%). Given the higher propensity of community members to be moving home, improving property, travelling and committing to long-term relationships – the absence of insurance cover to offer protection for any of these milestones emerged as a significant concern.

Steve Wardlaw, Chairman at Emerald Life commented: “As the UK’s first full-service insurer for the LGBT community, we knew there were perceived equality issues that existed in terms of community members having a level playing field, but the extent of the insurance gap that our community faces is a shock. Insurance to many is relatively boring, but it is important to safeguard the dreams and plans that people want to enjoy - whether this is buying a home, getting married, starting a family or having that dream holiday. The absence of insurance can derail plans and there is serious work to be done to give the community a reason to re-engage with insurance. We do this by offering more appropriate products and a service that is respectful and free of presumption. Above all, we listen. The community has never been asked what they want, what they need and what needs to change. This is a journey, with a serious goal to close the LGBT insurance gap.”

Heidi McCormack, CEO at Emerald Life adds: “We have already discovered some useful insights from conducting two preliminary waves of UK research among the LGBT community and some trends particular to London. Community members in London are the least likely to simply go just for the cheapest policy. They are more likely than the national average to go for brands they trust, but the proviso here is there actually needs to be a option to choose from! In terms of what a good insurer looks like, the LGBT community in London also places great emphasis on authenticity – an organisation that supports community issues, shows empathy and tackles the specific issues the community faces. And more than tokenism through adverts or marketing, the community expects an insurer to represent their community in the people they employ and the opportunities offered. At Emerald we are taking down the barriers and removing the assumptions that will give the London LGBT community a trusted organisation to turn to when it comes to protecting the things and the people that matter.”

A compelling alternative to generic insurance products offered on a ‘one size fits all’ basis, Emerald Life will provide a comprehensive service based on the interplay of:

  • products tailored to the community’s specific needs and circumstances;
  • delivered through a service experience purpose-built for the community;
  • championing the broader equality and diversity matters that the community faces.

For more information or to arrange interviews contact:

James Wharton


Leadership team biographies, further market research, high-resolution images and a library of case studies are available on request.


Notes to editors


  1. As the first step in its journey to provide a wide range of financial, legal and lifestyle services, Emerald Life has launched its first insurance products - home, term life, wedding and pet with travel to follow shortly.


  2. For full details on Emerald’s products visit today.


  3. The research was conducted by YouGov in September 2015 and February 2016 among a nat.rep. sample of 1,000 and 2,000 respondents respectively. Further data is available on request