Emerald Life was set up originally to ensure equality of experience and equality of product for the LGBT community when buying insurance. However, many of the issues that our LGBT customers face – such as assumptions as to marital status, or incorrect forms of address – are also issues that many women face in buying insurance. We wanted to correct that, and encourage women to consider protecting themselves financially.
Women still face discrimination in many walks of life, and the financial services sector is no exception. Many of the offerings from mainstream insurers will assume (through their marketing imagery and call centre scripts) that if you are a woman you are, or should be, married with children. If you do not fit into that stereotype, then you may feel disengaged from the process of looking after yourself financially. Women tend to consider longer-term financial planning much less than men, and we want to encourage women to talk to us and to use our resources to make sure that they are adequately protected for the future.
When we launched, our aim was to provide equality of service to the LGBT community, and we did that by examining and changing both policy terms and the customer journeys. Many women also expressed an interest in what Emerald was doing (and became customers) and so we undertook the same examination looking at the issues that some women face. Many of the issues overlapped with those raised by member of the LGBT community. So, for example, we make no assumption as to family structure – we will not assume that you are married, whether or not to a man, we will not assume children, or the desire for children, and we let customer choose whichever title they want. We were the first insurance company to allow customers to choose the gender-neutral ‘Mx’ title. Our home and wedding policies have cover for legal expenses for customers to bring a discrimination claim, and our travel insurance also includes extra protection while abroad in the form of Consular Care – a 24/7 global assistance program with in-country support in 190 states. In particular we think that this is useful extra protection for single women travellers. But if there is more that you would like to see, tell us and we will see what we can do!
Many insurers are still guilty of assuming that a customer’s partner will be the opposite sex. For bisexual customers this may involve the example of an awkward conversation that occurs when a consumer informs an insurer that their new partner is of a different gender to their previous partner.
At Emerald, these kinds of conversations and assumptions never happen – because our respectful call-centre staff are specially trained in working with the LGBT community.
Another way in which we’ve considered bisexual customers is through our policies. We know bisexuals may face the same discrimination as our gay and lesbian customers, so the extra discrimination protection in our policies applies to bisexual consumers too. This includes our legal expenses cover in our wedding policy if you suffer discrimination from a supplier because of your sexuality (whether gay, lesbian or bisexual) or gender (if you are trans).
Emerald Life was set up as an organisation that both gave back to the communities that we support, and advocated for positive change. On the advocacy point, we were the first insurance company to allow the use of the gender-neutral title ‘Mx’, and were at the forefront of offering fairly-priced travel insurance for single-parent families.
You can see the charities and organisations that we support here. We are particularly proud of our support of WOFFF, the Women Over 50 Film Festival, held in Brighton every year, and our support of the Winter Pride Art Awards which encourages submissions from cisgender and transgender women.
Lastly, the insurance sector remains very male-dominated. Our CEO Heidi McCormack is involved in advocacy to change that through TWIN (the women’s insurance network) and other groups.
We recognise the importance of service and set ourselves high standards. Should there be an occasion when we do not meet your expectations we are equally committed to dealing with any complaint in a thorough and professional manner.
Insurance other than EmeraldPet Insurance, or Travel Insurance taken out AFTER 1 June 2018
If you wish to register a complaint about our home and contents policy, our travel policy, our wedding policy or our term life policy, request a copy of our complaints procedures in relation to these policies or give us feedback, please contact us:
In writing: Emerald Life Complaints, 286 Queensbridge Road, London E8 3NH.
By telephone: 0330 131 9960
By email: email@example.com
If you cannot settle your complaint with us, you may be entitled to refer it to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS). You can find out more about this by visiting the FOS web site at www.financial-ombudsman.org.uk.
If your complaint relates to insurance purchased from us via electronic means then you are also able to use the EC On-line Dispute Resolution (ODR) platform at www.ec.europa.eu/consumers/odr/ who will notify FOS on your behalf.
You can request a copy of our procedures for dealing with complaints at any time. Details of the insurers’ complaints procedures can be found in each policy wording and Key Facts document.
In writing: EmeraldPet, FREEPOST PetAdmin
By telephone: 03332 205510
By email: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Emerald Travel Insurance taken out after 1 June 2018
In writing: The Compliance Manager, ROCK Insurance Group, Griffin House, 135 High Street, Crawley, West Sussex RH10 1DQ
Term Life Insurance
Call Canopius Managing Agents Limited on 020 7337 3700
Post: Complaints, Canopius Managing Agents Limited, Gallery 9, One Lime Street, London EC3M 7HA