Two new income and mortgage protection policies have been launched by GRIP, and are claimed to be the first ever to target gay men.
The policies, entitled Pride Without Prejudice, include cover against the risk of AIDS and HIV and offer premiums starting at £3.25 per £100 for income protection and £2.75 per £100 for the mortgage scheme. Both disability and unemployment are covered by the schemes which are underwritten at Lloyds and are fully compliant with ABI guidelines. Enrolment is via a proposal form, with no medical examination required.
Income protection provides a maximum monthly benefit of £2,500 or 75% of average gross earnings for up to 12 months, after a waiting period of 30, 60 or 90 days depending on premium. The mortgage policy covers the full cost of owning a home or £2,500 a month after 30 days.
GRIP managing director Simon Burgess said that provision of the policy made financial sense and was a continuation of his company’s philosophy of non-discrimination.
“This is an enormous niche market. The Terence Higgins Trust reckons there are between 500,000 and five million homosexual males in this country and we consider there is a lot of money to be made,” he said.
“With this and our other policies which do not discriminate on grounds of sex or age, we are bringing in people who would otherwise not have purchased insurance.”
Burgess denied that the risks involved in insuring gay men were high: “When you compare the risk of catching AIDS and contracting lung cancer, there is no contest,” he said. “It has been suggested that offering HIV cover to gays is financial suicide but carve away the prejudice and the risk is minimal so can be absorbed within our standard rates.”
The policies have already achieved national press coverage and are being marketed through the gay press.