Gay Men's Guide to Life Insurance

Publish Date: 14/07/2008

HIV and InsuranceThe Association for British Insurers has brought out a new set of guidelines which advise that gay men do not have to undergo unnecessary HIV testing in order to take out life insurance policies.

The Association for British Insurers sets the standards for the majority of insurance companies in the UK and the new consumer guide will have a massive impact as more than 95% of the insurance industry abide by the ABI code.

The updated gay men's guide to life insurance reflects "changes being made across the industry to ensure that people in civil partnerships are treated the same as married couples."

The Sexual Orientation Regulations, which became law last year protect gay, lesbian and bisexual people from discrimination when accessing goods and services but contain an opt-out for insurance companies that allows them to continue to discriminate on the grounds of sexual orientation.

Regulation 27 provides an exception where a person is treated less favourably on grounds of his sexual orientation in relation to an annuity, or life insurance policy, or similar matter.The small print of the regulations, published in March 2007, make clear that insurance companies will have to argue to retain this exemption after 2008.

In a survey, insurance company staff were all asked to provide their company's limit at which an applicant would be sent for an HIV test. Two companies, Royal Liver and Bright Grey, were praised for their industry-beating limit of £1,000,000 of cover without HIV testing for gay men within a civil partnership.

However, 80% of frontline customer service staff of insurance companies covered in the study by gay financial advisers Compass gave incorrect information around gay men and insurance.

To read more you can click on the following links:
Consumer Guide for Gay Men on Life Insurance
Consumer Guide on countries with High HIV prevalence

What you need to know:

AIDS RibbonSexually Transmitted Infections
You are advised to disclose any sexually transmitted infections that you have had. Insurers do not expect you to make judgments on the health implications of particular infections. In cases of doubt they will approach your GP, with your consent, for example to establish the long-term implications for your health. One-off minor infections are likely to be ignored by insurers.

Life insurers have the option of asking the following question: "Within the last five years have you tested positive or been treated for any disease which was transmitted sexually?"

What to do if you are HIV+
If you have HIV, getting cover is not always possible. There are a few specialist insurers that offer life cover and, for the people where some cover is available, it can be costly. You will need to use a specialist insurer although more life insurers hope to be able to offer affordable cover in the future. If you have any difficulty finding a specialist insurer, you can go to an insurance broker who can do the searching for you. You can contact a broker through: British Insurance Brokers Association (BIBA) 14 Bevis Marks, London EC3A 7NT Telephone: 0901 814 0015 Email:

Specialist HIV insurance
HIV life assurance, mortgage services and other insurance products are also recommended by many HIV charities, organisations, hospitals and clinics and provide HIV travel insurance for some of their staff. If you're HIV+, don't take the risk travelling without travel insurance that will cover you for anything HIV related .To obtain a quote and book on line visit: telephone: 0845 222 222 6