The War is Over !

First Published September 2005 … Edited May 2010

In March 1999, I decided to leave the security of working for a major bank, promising to end the personal questions asked of gay men on Life Assurance. I didn’t feel enough was being done to challenge the insurance industry at the time.

My vision was for gay men and women to be able to walk into my office, and be offered insurance products from the whole of the market – not just a few ‘gay friendly’ insurers.

My dream was to be able to offer the best products at the cheapest premium available. People choosing to come to me for advice based upon a reputation for good service and integrity.

Not through the fear of being forced to take a HIV test!

Finally, I can announce the end of gay questions on Life Assurance applications. The last 18 months have been tough, but I’ve ultimately been able to reach an agreement with the Association of British Insurers.

The new statement of best practice relating to HIV and Insurance was launched on the 3rd October 2005. This will mean the removal of the personal questions that are asked of gay men when applying for insurance products.

The ‘gay’ question on Life Assurance application forms is to be replaced with a new ‘common question’, which is to be asked of all risk groups regardless of sexuality.
‘Within the last 5 years have you been exposed to the risk of HIV? This can be caught through unsafe sex, intravenous drug abuse or blood transfusion.’

(Any explanations required relating to these must relate to behaviour and not sexuality).’

There are a number of other areas of the best practice of relevance to gay men that have been included in the new ‘best practice’.

  • Gay Supplementary Questions are to be removed from Life Assurance Applications.
  • Gay Supplementary Questions are to be removed from Income Protection Applications.
  • Gay Supplementary Questions are to be removed from Critical Illness Applications.
  • Insurers are no longer permitted to ask GP’s about sexuality.
  • Insurers no longer permitted to use Second Level Questions relating to sexual behaviour (Monogamy/Number of partners).
  • Insurers are no longer permitted to use occupation as an indicator of sexuality (Cabin Crew/Hairdresser).

There will now be a transitional period over the next 12 months whilst Life Assurance companies fall in line with the new guidance. It is likely that insurers will introduce a new equal ‘single persons’ HIV testing limit.

This will mean that the financial risk of HIV is likely to be pooled into the premiums charged to everyone. Gay men will receive the same cover, treatment and premiums as a straight man.

I can now go back to researching the insurance market on the traditional values of good service, quality and value. Instead of being forced to recommend products on the basis of avoiding HIV testing, discrimination and inflated premiums.

Editors Notes …. May 2010

All Life Assurance providers now ask ‘single males’ for a HIV test only when applying for Life Assurance Income Protection and Critical Illness cover for amounts of over £1,000,000. Pink Finance is extremely proud to have paved the way for the LGBT community to be treated equally by the insurance industry.

Chris Morgan is the Marketing Manager of Compass , The Gay Mortgage and Insurance Advisers and editor of Pink Finance The Gay Finance Magazine. He was a consultant to the Association of British Insurers on Gay and HIV and Insurance issues between 2003 and 2008.

This entry was posted in Uncategorised. Bookmark the permalink.
  • About Us

    Pink Finance was first launched in the year 2000, as the UK’s first gay finance magazine. Over the years we have covered many discrimination issues affecting gay, lesbian, bi sexual and transsexual people.

    Our articles cover issues such as Gay Life Assurance, Gay Life Insurance, Gay Mortgages, Gay Income Protection, Gay Critical Illness Cover, HIV Life Assurance, HIV Life Insurance and HIV Mortgages.

    We also include feature articles on planning Life Assurance and Mortgages for LGBT and Alternative Families, along with articles with subjects such as Pensions and Investments for LGBT people.

    Our editor, Chris Morgan was part of the consultation group that led to the introduction of HIV Life Assurance and HIV Life Insurance for people living with HIV.

    He was a consultant to the Association of British Insurers for over five years and served on their HIV Insurance Working Group.

    Chris has recently rejoined the ABI working group, assisting them with their latest Best Practice guidelines and agreeing to write a new HIV and Insurance consumer guide.

    Our sponsors Compass have a long history of supporting worthy causes within the gay and HIV communities. Currently they are supporting NAM AIDSMAP who work to change lives by sharing information about HIV and AIDS.

    They believe that, wherever you are in the world, having independent, clear and accurate information is vital in the fight against HIV and AIDS.

    Compass Mortgage & Insurance Services is Authorised and Regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.