No one likes to talk about insurance. And when we have to face the prospect of thinking about, and planning, our financial future we invariably go straight to a big-name insurance company.
But did you know that there is an insurance offering out there that’s targeted directly at the gay and lesbian market – and backed by one of country’s biggest insurance players?
Pride Plus was launched in February 2006 and is South Africa’s only short term insurance product designed specifically for the LGBT market. It was developed by openly lesbian Liz Davis, a director at Financial Portfolio Management, and is underwritten by Hollard Insurance Company – the third largest insurer in South Africa.
Pride Plus offers cover on assets such as buildings, household goods, motor vehicles, motor cycles, trailers, caravans and pleasure craft – as well as personal accident, all risks and personal liability insurance.
But why should you be interested in a LGBT friendly product? The answer is that while we can’t legally be discriminated against, social reality hasn’t quite caught up with the good intentions of our constitution.
According to Davis, the most important difference between Pride Plus and other insurance companies is that, when it comes to Pride Plus, you will be spoken to in a language that you understand; there are no awkward discussions about your partner when making claims or difficulties in expressing concerns about the issues that affect your life.
“It’s about the due recognition of your individuality and stature as a gay person or couple and your unique need to be understood without experiencing prejudice. You need to feel comfortable talking about your partnership and the financial and insurance requirements that go with it,” explains Davis.
“…gay and lesbian people are often afraid to ask insurance companies or brokers vital questions about their circumstances…”
She says that her spouse (yes, it’s official), Rozanne, came up with the idea of creating a gay-targeted insurance product. “Obviously I had gay clients previous to Pride Plus and they were very comfortable dealing with me and me with them,” adds Davis. She then worked with underwriter, Brendon Keyter, who had always wanted to do the same thing but didn’t have the wherewithal, to make Pride Plus a reality.
“With Pride Plus people can expect to speak to someone who approaches them in a like-minded capacity without any hidden agendas or perceptions,” says Keyter.
“We offer a caring and individualised service without judgment or prejudice; we can empathise with your needs and requirements because as gay people ourselves we know where you’re coming from.”
He adds that, in his experience, gay and lesbian people are often afraid to ask insurance companies or brokers vital questions about the circumstances relating to their lifestyles and relationships; vital questions that could have a direct and material bearing on their cover.
Keyter and Davis are, however, quick to point out that Pride Plus doesn’t just ride on its LGBT credentials; the company offers a competitively priced and professional service – something confirmed by Hollard’s confidence in the product.
“We don’t just strive for service excellence – we deliver it. By being able to recognise changing trends and influences within the industry we can then adapt our approach and methods to ensure that clients aren’t left exposed and vulnerable”, says Davis.
Another reason to consider Pride Plus is its commitment to the LGBT community. The company has allocated 20% of its fee income towards OUT LGBT, the Gauteng-based gay health services organisation.
Davis says that Pride Plus has received a very positive response from people who’ve enquired about the product, most finding out about it through word of mouth. She sees Pride Plus building its client base through increased exposure, as well as by evolving from its current position as an exclusive insurance product within a brokerage environment into a National Underwriting Agency.
“We know we that have something special to offer and existing clientele can attest to being a part of the fabulous world of Pride Plus,” concludes Davis.
If you’d like to find out more about Pride Plus, click here or contact Liz Davis on 082 901 9791 or email@example.com.