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ABI proposes abolishing exemption allowing insurers to differentiate based on sexual orientation

The Association of British Insurers has proposed abolishing the existing exemption which allows insurers to differentiate based on sexual orientation.

The ABI says insurance companies see no need to differentiate between customers in civil partnerships and married couples.

ABI director of general insurance and health Nick Starling says: “Insurers base their treatment of all customers on a fair and objective analysis of the risks they represent. It is sensible to differentiate for instance in the case of age or gender.

“But we do not seek exemptions where there is no case for one. There is no need for the law to provide for different treatment between civil partnerships and marriages.”

Compass managing director and member of the ABI Expert Working Group on HIV and Insurance Chris Morgan says it is crucial the new sexual orientation regulations do not overshadow the positive changes that have already been made for gay men within the life insurance industry.

He says: “The HIV and Insurance guidelines introduced by the ABI require insurance companies to treat gay men fairly when applying for life assurance products already. Therefore, the exemption contained within the new legislation should be removed.”

Stonewall director of public affairs Alan Wardle says: “We trust the Government will repeal the exemption at the earliest opportunity. Insurance premiums should be based on someone’s behaviour rather than their sexual orientation.”

The proposal will form part of the ABI’s response to the Government’s consultation on its Discrimination Law Review.


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