Intervention by the Business Conduct Review Department at Lloyd’s has prompted GRIP to change underwriters for its newly launched Pride Without Prejudice policies aimed at gay men.
GRIP managing director Simon Burgess had refused to inform the department of the name of the leading underwriter subscribing to the scheme, on the grounds that pressure might then be put upon them not to continue with the scheme.
He has now placed the policies with “two of the top three French insurers” which he claims have a capital worth over £lObn, but again declined to identify them.
“The companies underwrite for church and religious groups and they may find it awkward to justify their involvement to these customers,” he said.
A spokesman for Lloyds said that it did not know of the policies until it began receiving enquiries from the press and public.
“As GRIP is not a Lloyd’s registered entity, the Business Conduct Review Department checked that the policies were placed here,” he said. “It was a routine check.”
However Burgess claimed that he was asked for both the name of the underwriter and the reasons they had for taking the policies. And he added that he had never been asked for such information before.
“They demanded commercially sensitive information that I felt it would be unethical to provide,” he said.
“What goes on between the underwriter and broker is confidential.”
Burgess claimed that his refusal to reveal the underwriter’s identity would strengthen the image of the Pride Without Prejudice policy in the eyes of the consumer and claimed that gay intermediaries and GRIP’s principal agents backed his stance.
GRIP has also slashed the cost of its Erection All Risks policy, which insures against impotence.The cost of this now £50 from £ 100.
Burgess said the cost had fallen because of new wonder-drug Viagra which helps men sustain an erection. He said he had sold some 2,500 of these policies, with a third of them in the UK. The UK policies were mainly sold by a direct sales force and at women-only events such as Ann Summers’ parties.
Burgess said there had been at least one claim to date, which involved a man injured by machinery.