Five cheapest quotes from brokers using underwriters on our score table:
- OUL direct – £9.99 – Groupama
- GNU Insurance – £15.40 – AXA
- Insurance.co.uk – £16.37 – Groupama
- GO – £19.40 – Ageas
- insurancefortravel.co.uk – £20.47 – Groupama
We looked at moneysupermarket.com to see which brokers used which underwriters. Based on a two week trip to India for a 32 year old male with no medical problems.
Green travel insurance
Ethical Consumer spoke to Yannick Read of ethical travel insurance broker, the Environmental Transport Association.
The ETA was formed in 1990 as an alternative motoring organisation. “At the time the RAC and AA were very pro road expansion and lobbied for more roads, so we set up for those drivers who were aware of the environmental impact of driving and didn’t think that more road building was desirable,” says Yannick. Things have come a long way since the ETA was set up. “Both the AA and RAC have now quite dramatically modified their stance to come to support views that we articulated back then. I guess we were slightly ahead of the curve” says Yannick.
The ETA also sells breakdown, travel and bicycle insurance. He is mindful of the fact that the insurance they sell is part of system that is contributing to climate change. ETA is one of the few insurance brokers that does systematically screen the underwriters that they use. This is done through EIRIS. Yannick explains. “We use negative screening for underwriters. We ensure that they do not invest in arms companies, drink or tobacco.”
After this process ETA are currently using Ageas (not that strong environmentally by our criteria) and Lloyds of London (who perform better). “In the case of Lloyd’s, the company follows the principles of the insurance industry’s own ClimateWise initiative, which includes supporting climate awareness, incorporating climate change into its investment strategy and reducing its environmental impact.”
“Another thing we do is try to make people aware of how they travel and how they can reduce the impacts of travel.” This is done through a trust with a proportion of every sale going towards environmental awareness-raising projects such as the Car Free Day, where motorists are encouraged to leave their cars at home and take public transport or cycle.
Yannick also thinks the embedded ethics help throughout the customer experience: “It’s not just about picking the correct underwriter or offsetting carbon, it’s as much about a green philosophy that filters down through the organisation about the way we deal with customers. And that does set us apart from those who are simply chasing profit.”
The British United Provident Association – better known as Bupa – is the UK’s leading private medical insurer. It was established in 1947 when 17 British provident associations joined together to provide healthcare insurance for the general public, just before the NHS was formed in 1948. Bupa also runs more than 300 retirement and nursing homes for which it has attracted some criticisms.
Although based in the UK, Bupa’s international business brings in almost 65% of its revenues. The company operates in more than 190 countries to provide private health insurance, nursing and respite care, and other health support services.
Bupa is a private company limited by guarantee without share capital, meaning it has no shareholders and so its profits can be reinvested back into the company. But this does not make it a mutual, charity or a provident society.
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This product guide is part of a Sector Report on the Insurance Industry.