Diversity


June is Pride month so it’s time for our annual round-up of the latest LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) insurance news.

Corporate Equality: A record 304 businesses, including 16 insurers scored 100 percent in the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s 2014 Corporate Equality Index (CEI) based on their LGBT workplace policies, benefits and practices. The number of insurers achieving the top ranking has seen a steady increase over the last decade, going from zero in 2002, to 10 in 2008 and 16 in 2014. A total of 734 businesses were rated in the 2014 CEI. This year marks the first time in history that over 60 percent of the Fortune 500 include both sexual orientation and gender identity protections.

LGBT Marketing: There’s been a surge of marketing directed at LGBT consumers – and with good reason. The total buying power of the LGBT adult population in the U.S. for 2013 was projected at $830 billion, according to a November analysis by Witeck Communications. But it’s not just LGBT consumers who respond to this advertising. Some 70 percent of non-LGBT adults are likely to consider a brand known to provide equal workplace benefits, Harris Interactive and Witeck Communications found. Just a few weeks ago, insurer Allstate launched its “Out Holding Hands” program, to encourage members of the LGBT community to share special and everyday moments out holding hands with their loved ones. Allstate teamed up with singer-songwriter Eli Lieb to create a video that illustrates the company’s belief that everyone should be treated with respect and without judgment no matter who they love. The video can be viewed on Allstate.com/LGBT.

Allstate’s campaign is certainly eye-catching. On a recent trip to Asbury Park, New Jersey, we couldn’t miss this billboard:

I.I.I. chief actuary James Lynch brings us a timely post on one of the most important female contributors to the history of property/casualty insurance:

Constituting nearly 60 percent of the insurance work force in the United States, women are clearly important to the insurance industry.

March is Women’s History Month and this is the perfect time to honor the importance of women in the industry. Our earlier post on this topic can be read here.

The Casualty Actuarial Society (CAS) plays its part, in an indirect way. This month’s Actuarial Review, as part of the organization’s centennial, touches on one of the most important female contributors to the history of property/casualty insurance.

The woman is Crystal Eastman (pictured).

Eastman wasn’t an actuary, and to my knowledge she never worked in insurance. She was a lawyer, a radical in her day, and one of her causes was workers’ rights. Her 1910 publication, Work-accidents and the law, detailed worker injuries in 1907 and 1908 in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, and the economic toll those injuries took.

In those 12 months, 529 workers died from job-related maladies (see table). Eastman led a team that investigated every death, plus another 509 workers hospitalized between April and June 1908.

About one third of the accidents were unavoidable, the study found, while one third were the fault of the workers themselves and another third resulted from employers failing to provide a safe workplace. The financial burden of the accidents, though, fell overwhelmingly on the victims and their families. They lacked the resources to sue, and common law at the time was stacked against them anyhow.

The solution: workers compensation – insurance covering worker injuries without regard to fault. But early workers comp laws were ruled unconstitutional, typically because they took from employers their right to due process – their day in court. New York’s law, for example, was found unconstitutional on March 24, 1911.

The next day, 146 workers – 123 of them women – died in the Triangle Shirtwaist factory fire. The tragedy led to a state commission, headed by Frances Perkins – later the first female Cabinet member – that documented dismal and dangerous working conditions across the state. The result: a workers comp law that passed constitutional muster.

The law addressed the workers problems – now they could be compensated for their injuries. It created an insurance problem: without a court to adjudicate, how does one set a fair compensation for an injury?

It was for this task that, in 1914, the Casualty Actuarial Society (CAS) was created. So it is not much of a stretch to say that women, both famous and not so famous, are at the fountainhead of the organization.

Check out I.I.I. facts and statistics on workers compensation here and on careers and employment here.

Saturday is International Women’s Day and March is Women’s History Month so it’s a good time to talk about gender diversity in the insurance industry.

While women are well-represented across the insurance industry as a whole, there are very few women in the top executive positions.

The fact remains that only 6 percent of C-suite positions (CEO, CFO, COO) in the insurance industry are occupied by women and only 12.6 percent of board seats are held by women, according to a recent study by the Academy of Risk Management & Insurance at St Joseph’s University.

Findings from the SJU study were presented at last year’s IICF Women in Insurance Global Conference.

However, the glass ceiling is starting to shatter, as evidenced by the recent appointment of Inga Beale as Lloyd’s first female CEO.

Beale took the reins in January and shares her vision for the Lloyd’s market and the challenges and opportunities ahead in this interview at lloyds.com.

Asked to describe her management style, Beale said:

I’ve always enjoyed teamwork and see great benefit in having diverse teams working well together. I therefore do my best to be inclusive, get people involved, particularly when they are the experts, and build solutions and plans together.”

Read more about Beale’s historic appointment in this article by the Financial Times.

For more on women in insurance, Business Insurance’s annual feature Women to Watch spotlights 25 women who are doing outstanding work in commercial insurance, reinsurance, risk management, employee benefits and related fields, such as law and consulting.

Check out Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.) facts and statistics on women in insurance here.

June is Pride month and this week’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling striking down a key provision of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) that defines marriage as between a man and a woman, gives added significance to our annual round-up of the latest news affecting the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community.

Supreme Court Rulings: On June 26, 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down two long-awaited decisions on same-sex marriage. Aon Hewitt notes that these rulings will have long-term implications for employers that sponsor employee benefit plans. Given that section 3 of DOMA affects more than 1,000 federal laws, including those related to estate and gift taxes, Social Security benefits and tax return filings, Willis reports that the DOMA ruling will have a significant impact on employer-sponsored plans. According to the Wall Street Journal, one of the biggest changes for married gay couples will be equal tax treatment of health insurance premiums. The DOMA ruling applies only to workers in the 12 states, plus the District of Columbia, that recognize gay marriage. Questions abound in the wake of the ruling, Willis adds. Insurers were among the 278 leading businesses that signed an amicus brief submitted in the DOMA case. A Hartford Courant blog post has more on the insurance implications of the Supreme Court’s DOMA ruling.

Corporate Equality: A record 252 businesses, including 12 insurers scored 100 percent in the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s 2013 Corporate Equality Index (CEI) based on their LGBT workplace policies, benefits and practices. The number of insurers achieving the top ranking almost doubled to 12, up from seven the prior year. A total of 889 businesses were rated in the 2013 CEI, including the entire Fortune 500. This year saw the largest growth in the survey’s history with 54 new businesses participating.

March is Women’s History Month, an important time to empower women about their finances, and one area women underestimate their contribution to their families’ economic well-being is by lacking sufficient life insurance, says the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.).

The I.I.I. raises an important point. A national poll by wholesaleinsurance.net found that 43 percent of adult women have no life insurance and among those that are insured, many are severely underinsured, carrying just one-fourth of the amount that would likely be needed by their life insurance policies’ beneficiaries.

Indeed, women who are a family’s primary breadwinner carry 31 percent less life insurance than their male counterparts, even as a growing number of women earn as much, if not more, than their husbands, says the I.I.I.

Loretta Worters, vice president with the I.I.I., notes:

Ironically, 100 years ago women weren’t even able to buy life insurance. Today, women can protect their finances, but they aren’t buying the coverage or, if they are, it isn’t enough.”

This leads us to wonder why more women don’t buy adequate life insurance.

Metlife’s 2012 Protecting a Diverse Workforce report offers some interesting perspective on this issue. Its findings confirm that women are less insured with only twice their income in life insurance coverage, compared to men, who are covered for nearly three times their earnings.

However, the tendency for women to be underinsured is not due to a lack of awareness about life insurance. Metlife reported that 50 percent of women who earn $50,000 or more in income believe they don’t have as much coverage as they need, versus 39 percent of men.

Instead, the report found that more women than men find the process of choosing the right life insurance product to be complex. Some 67 percent of women believe that selecting the right life insurance product is a complicated process, compared with 59 percent of men.

MetLife noted that this belief also extends to selecting the right amount of coverage, where some 59 percent of women feel it can be a complicated process, compared to 50 percent of men.

Another key takeaway from the MetLife study is a difference in the perceived purpose of life insurance among men and women.

Not only do men place a higher value on insuring their income and protecting their financial security than women, but about half of women view life insurance primarily for burial and final expenses, compared to 40 percent of men.

As MetLife says:

This presents the opportunity to educate and reinforce the income protection role of this product, especially with women.”

Check out a recent article in Employee Benefit News for further discussion of the psychological and financial barriers to women buying adequate life insurance.

A record number of businesses, spanning nearly every industry and major geographic area of the United States, ranked as top scorers in this year’s Corporate Equality Index released by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation.

When the CEI was launched in 2001, only 13 businesses achieved a top score. This year, a record 252 businesses, including 12 insurers, achieved the top rating of 100 percent.

According to HRC, the results demonstrate that a new normal has arrived:

The policies, benefits and practices businesses must implement to earn a perfect score are best-in-class demonstrations of corporate commitments to LGBT workers.”

The number of insurers achieving the top rating almost doubled to 12, up from seven a year ago.

Insurers receiving the 100 percent rating this year are: AAA Northern California, Nevada and Utah, AIG, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida, Chubb Corp, Hartford Financial Services Group, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, ING North America, MetLife Nationwide, Progressive Corp, Prudential Financial, and Sun Life Financial.

Aon, Deloitte and Marsh & McLennan were among other insurance-related businesses to earn the top rating.

The CEI rates employers on a scale from 0 to 100 percent based on their LGBT workplace policies, benefits and practices, including non-discrimination policies and training, partner benefits, transgender inclusive health insurance coverage and LGBT resource groups.

A total of 889 businesses have been rated in the 2013 CEI, including the entire Fortune 500. This year saw the largest growth in the survey’s history with 54 new businesses participating.

June is Pride month. Here’s our annual round-up of some of the latest news and developments affecting the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community:

Equality Is: Allstate Insurance has announced a new marketing campaign aimed at the LGBT audience. The Denver Post reports that Allstate is offering its services in an online/social media campaign called “Equality Is”, tapping into what is widely regarded as a growing business segment. What does equality look like to you? Share a quote, image or video to add to the story on Allstate’s interactive webpage. Better yet, get any insurance quote and Allstate will give $10 to the San Francisco LGBT Center or the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center.

Gay Rights Infographic: It’s well understood that the ever-changing legal landscape can affect both how you do business and which products you sell in a particular country or region. Gay rights laws in the U.S. vary from state to state.  This cool infographic from the London Guardian shows how these laws affect the lives of LGBT people on a range of issues, including marriage, hospital visitation, adoption, employment, housing, hate crimes and school bullying.

Corporate equality: The list of insurers to score 100 percent in the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s 2012 Corporate Equality Index (CEI) based on their LGBT workplace policies, benefits and practices was shorter than prior years. That’s because HRC has raised the bar on its ratings criteria, now including a new metric that rewards companies that offer equal health coverage for transgender employees, including sexual reassignment surgery. Even so, some 190 corporations, including seven insurers, still received a 100 percent score on the significantly more stringent criteria. We posted more on the 2012 CEI here.

Some of our readers may know that March is Women’s History Month. In celebration of the event, the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.) has developed facts and statistics that provide information on the number of women employed in the industry today and the percentage of women workers in selected insurance occupations.  In addition, the I.I.I. has posted pictures and historical facts on its Women in Insurance Pinterest board. 

Today, Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.) vice president of communications Loretta Worters tells us more about women’s history in insurance:

Did you know that married women in the 1840s could not buy life insurance policies on themselves, a stumbling block to growth of the life industry?  Or that the Insurance Standard was the only insurance paper actively managed by a woman, Emily Ransom in 1897? Did you know that in 1910, out of 9,386 managers in insurance, only four were black women?

There is much we can be proud of as women in the insurance industry and what we’ve accomplished since those early days.  Today, for example, 49.4% of insurance sales agents are women, 57.4% are claims adjusters, appraisers, examiners and insurance investigators and 59.3% are underwriters.  In fact, women have comprised about two-thirds of the insurance industry workforce in each year from 2002 to 2011, according to the Current Employment Statistics Survey (CES). In 2011, there were 1.5 million women employed in the insurance sector, accounting for 66.1 percent of the 2.3 million workers in the insurance industry.

There have been a lot of firsts for women in the insurance industry.  The first woman insurance commissioner in West Virginia was Virginia Mae Brown.  In May 1961 she took office, making her also the first woman insurance commissioner in the United States.  The first recorded women’s insurance industry organization was the Women Leaders Round Table founded in 1936.  Today, we have similar organizations such as the Association of Professional Insurance Women started in 1976 which provides assistance to women with career development.

While the insurance industry is “doing the right thing,” still more can be done.  In 2010, less than 25,000 women were insurance actuaries, too few to calculate a percentage. In 2010, the ratio of women’s to men’s earnings was 81.2% for all insurance occupations; for insurance sales agents it was just 66.7%.

Bina West Miller, founder of one of the first organizations in the country to offer life insurance to women said something in 1892 that still applies today:  “Insurance is the coming work for intelligent, energetic women in the South, North, East and West.”

For more interesting facts in celebration of Women’s History Month, check out our tweets.

Remarkable advances have taken place on behalf of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality (LGBT) in the workplace since 2002, as documented in the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s 2012 Corporate Equality Index (CEI).

When the CEI was launched in 2002, only 13 businesses achieved a top score. This year, some 190 corporations, including seven insurers, have received a 100 percent score on significantly more stringent criteria, including 10 of the top 20 Fortune-ranked companies.

The CEI rates employers on a scale from 0 to 100 percent based on their LGBT workplace policies, benefits and practices, including non-discrimination policies and training, partner benefits, transgender inclusive health insurance coverage and LGBT resource groups.

Three years ago, HRC began an initiative to raise the bar on its rating criteria so that a 100 percent score would reflect best practices of LGBT inclusion in the workplace.

As part of this effort, in 2012 companies are now rated on equal health coverage for transgender employees, including sexual reassignment surgery. In 2009, 85 companies offered transgender health coverage. This year, some 207 companies offered all of the benefits – a 144 percent increase.

Insurers receiving the 100 percent rating this year are: AAA Northern California, Nevada and Utah, Chubb Corp, ING North America, MetLife, Nationwide, Prudential Financial, and Sun Life Financial.

Aon, Deloitte and Marsh & McLennan were among other insurance-related businesses to earn the top rating.

If you’re wondering why the list of insurers that scored 100 is shorter this year, the change in rating criteria clearly had an impact. It’s helpful to know that those insurers not receiving a 100 percent rating are in good company – the number of companies 0verall to receive a perfect rating fell by 44 percent this year.

HRC has also issued a challenge to the insurance industry to provide products that meet the needs of LGBT customers by launching an insurance equality task force comprised of top CEI company representatives, insurance experts and other key stakeholders.

In the words of HRC:

The main objective of this task force is to facilitate the development and availability of health plans and insurance products that provide coverage of medically necessary treatment for transgender individuals in accordance with accepted medical standards.”

A total of 850 businesses have been rated in the 2012 CEI, including the entire Fortune 500. Some 277 Fortune 500 companies voluntarily submitted surveys, while the remaining 214 were rated based upon publicly-available data.

In addition, 65 Fortune 1000 companies, 134 law firms and 160 other companies voluntarily participated in the 2012 CEI.

June is Pride month, so here’s a round-up of some of the latest news and developments affecting the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community that piqued our interest:

Tying the knot: New York could become the sixth state in the nation to allow same sex marriage, pending a State Senate vote that reports suggest may happen today. The NY State Assembly already voted in favor of the bill Wednesday. Same sex marriage is currently legal in five states (Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, Vermont, and New Hampshire) and the District of Columbia. In addition, a number of states offer civil unions or domestic partnerships. Californians are still awaiting the outcome of a federal court case that will determine the constitutional validity of Proposition 8 (a constitutional amendment passed in California in November 2008 that restricts the definition of marriage to opposite sex couples).

Census snapshots: The Williams Institute at UCLA will be releasing snapshots of the 2010 Census throughout the summer, providing demographic and geographic information about same-sex couples and same-sex couples raising children for all 50 states, Washington D.C., and Puerto Rico. New this week: Alabama and Hawaii. The 2010 U.S. Census is the first to report counts of both same-sex partners and same-sex spouses.

Corporate equality: Insurers are among a growing number of Fortune 500 companies that continue to break new ground in workplace protections and benefits for LGBT people, according to the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s 2011 Corporate Equality Index (CEI). The CEI rates employers on a scale from 0 to 100 percent based on their LGBT workplace policies, benefits and practices, including non-discrimination policies and training, partner benefits, gender transition guidelines and LGBT resource groups. As an industry, insurance scored an average 91 percent rating in the latest survey, up from 88 percent the previous year. Check out our earlier post to see which insurers received a 100 percent rating.

Social media for a good cause: Direct auto insurer Esurance recently launched a charitable giving campaign on Facebook in support of The Trevor Project, the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to LGBT youth. For each new “Like” on its Facebook page, Esurance donated $10 to the organization, raising a total of $50,000. If you haven’t already, show your support and “Like” Esurance.

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