Animal Friends Insurance is sacrificing 75 per cent of the commission it gets from its underwriter LV= to finance the life insurance discounts it is offering vegetarians.
The firm said last month that it would give non-meat eaters discounts of up to 10 per cent on their life insurance premiums because they are less likely to suffer from a range of chronic diseases.
But Sesame research manager Dale Tranter says this indicates that its underwriters do not share Animal Friends’ conviction about the health merits of vegetarianism.
He says: “Animal Friends is not doing anything anyone else could not do. Someone could give a 6 per cent discount to Labour supporters by sacrificing commission.”
Animal Friends legal director Chris Fairfax admits the firm decided to sacrifice its commission after failing to negotiate a reduced prem-ium with LV=.
He says: “We sent LV= research showing that on average, vegetarians live longer and get fewer critical illnesses than meat-eaters.
“LV= said that if we could guarantee £500,000 of premium income they would look into reducing premi-ums but as this is a new product, we could not justify it so we decided to sacrifice our commission until we have demonstrated that there is an interest.”
LV= spokeswoman Lucy Pope says: “We review commercial terms regularly but it takes years to determine whether something results in a health benefit.”