In The Press

Work, Rest and Play: LGBT Community New Driving Force in Modern Britain

The LGBT community is driving change at work and home in modern Britain. National research for Emerald Life, the UK’s first full-service insurance provider designed and tailored for the gay and lesbian community, reveals that members of the LGBT community are more likely to be buying a new home, changing job, or moving in with a partner than their straight counterparts.

With 60% of LGBT community members planning for significant events or purchases in the next six months, the new research underlines the social and economic value that the community brings to the country at large in shaping the UK’s workplace and domestic trends and being a driving force in creating economic growth. 

For the survey of 2,023 adults, Emerald Life asked a representative sample of adults from the LGBT community what their work and life plans were for the next six months and compared results to a representative sample of straight adults.

Key findings

  • Moving Britain: For a nation obsessed with property ownership – and the significance of property confidence to the economy at large – LGBT community members were 50% more likely to be planning to buy or sell a home in the next six months than their straight counterparts (15% versus 9%). Dashing notions that those that are not moving are instead improving, the LGBT community was equally as likely to also be planning a major home improvement project (5%).
  • Workplace movers & shakers: In the world of work, members of the LGBT community were also more likely to be planning a new job or career move (19% versus 14%). They were also twice as likely to be considering giving up work altogether in the next six months (6% versus.3%), suggesting the LGBT community was feeling a greater sense of freedom and control when it came to fulfilling work and lifestyle ambitions.
  • Family values: Outside the world of work, LGBT community members were three times more likely to be planning to move in with their partner (10% versus  3%) and were also more than twice as likely to be starting a new relationship (9% versus 4%).
  • Deals on wheels: Car buying, which in recent years has been taken as a barometer to judge discretionary consumer spending confidence, again saw stronger activity from the LGBT community members, with 12% planning a new car purchase in the next six months (compared to 10% of straight respondents).

Plans for the next six months (multiple choice)

 UK populationStraight adultsLGBT adults
Go on a big holiday20%22%17%
New job / career change14%14%19%
Buy a new car10%10%12%
Buy / sell a home9%9%15%
Major renovation5%5%5%
Host a special event / party5%5%8%
Move in with my partner4%3%10%
Start a new relationship4%4%9%
Give up work3%3%6%
Get a new pet3%3%4%

Steve Wardlaw, Chairman of Emerald Life commented: “Our research dashes the somewhat patronising stereotypes sometimes held towards the community of a focus on frequent parties, travel and a love of all things frivolous. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with any of that but when it comes to the things EVERYONE gets serious about – moving home, getting that next career break or making a commitment to a life partner – in all these areas, it is the LGBT community that is leading these trends rather than following the non-LGBT majority.   Simply put, it is the direct consequence of greater acceptance and equality for the LGBT community, allowing them to live, love and settle down, reflecting the similarities between both communities rather than highlighting differences.”

“We launched Emerald Life a few weeks ago with the aim to deliver a true equality of experience to our community when it comes to insurance. In truth, the LGBT community members are more likely than their straight counterparts to be planning for a number of key lifestyle events or purchases that trigger the need for insurance. With three in five members of the community planning at least one major milestone in the next six months, there is a clear mandate for the community to have insurance built with their needs in mind. This is exactly what we are doing at Emerald Life and by getting the important little things right, we allow our customers to focus on celebrating the things that matter; whether this be starting a family, buying the ‘forever’ home or enjoying that first drive off a car forecourt.”

These survey findings form the first phase of the Emerald Life Index – a rolling research study that will monitor the lifestyle goals and financial needs of the LGBT community every six months. The data will allow Emerald Life to help the insurance industry to better understand the needs of the LGBT community, whilst also enabling Emerald to lead product and service improvements for the community.

Emerald Life’s UK launch responded to the almost eight in 10 members of the LGBT community (79%) that said they would change the way insurance companies treated them with respect to LGBT-specific issues.  Asked 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.

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 – Emerald Life


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
  4. 2.2 million LGBT adults over the age of 30 is based on ONS census results, 2012.