Editor's Comment: What makes a family?


We have a complicated extended family tree and, rather than depending on blood links, I tell my son that family are the people who love you, which makes more sense to us

In our circle of family and friends we have single parent families, blended families, same-sex relationships and adopted family members, as I'm sure most of you have too.

My generation is fighting for society to be inclusive and open-minded about gender, religion and sexuality and its demands are finally making the insurance industry think seriously about this sector. After all we voted for the first openly gay X Factor winner Will Young, welcomed Eurovision's first transgender winner Dana International and celebrated the legality of same-sex weddings in the UK.

This week saw the launch of specialist intermediary Emerald Life, after research found 39% of the lesbian, gay, transgender and bisexual community would change call centre language around the assumed gender of a partner, while 34% said they would like LGTB to be featured in promotional material.

The broker will tailor its service for this community but will also not make assumptions about a partner's gender, so people won't feel they have to explain their personal life and choices in detail to a stranger when simply purchasing insurance.

This is a great step in the right direction and it's something the whole insurance sector should embrace. The traditional nuclear family, while not dead, is certainly not alone and insurers need to put a bit more thought into the types of people they are insuring and the types of family that exist today.

When inequalities are a thing of the past in society they should certainly become a thing of the past in insurance too. In this spirit, Inclusion At Lloyd's launched the first market-wide diversity and inclusion festival last year, looking at best practice in this area, and it's important the rest of the market now follows its lead.

When in the future my son brings home his first girlfriend or boyfriend, I won't blink an eye. I'll make tea and ask them how they met and hope they love him as much as I do. And I'll pray the pitter patter of tiny feet are a long way off, as I'd like to wait a while before anyone adds to my already long list of relationship labels - daughter, sister, niece, granddaughter, great niece, cousin, mum, aunt and friend - with Nana!

Stephanie Denton

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