Ensuring equality on and off the pitch


Today is International Women’s Day (IWD), a global celebration of the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women and an annual call for greater equality across the globe. IWD has been going for more than a century, and we wanted to mark this year’s event by shining a light on a recent insurance trend where greater equality is certainly needed.

The sporting world has been on a crusade towards gender parity for the past decade, with many women’s sports developing in leaps and bounds as a consequence of greater investment, participation and external recognition. Being paid for what they love allows sportswomen to devote themselves entirely to their profession, and while their pay is still a long way from being on par with men, their increased profile is opening up other opportunities, such as sponsorship and media work.

But while this is of enormous benefit to women’s sport, taking it to a whole new level, it does change other aspects of their life. For example, getting insurance cover becomes more challenging. Traditionally, the motor insurance industry penalises those they characterise to be in high risk professions, with automation and broad-brush categorisation via online portals leaving certain professions forced to pay through the nose just for basic cover. Sportspeople in particular are seen as especially risky: they attract more attention than the average driver, while one serious injury could wreck their career and end their ability to earn a living.

While male football stars don’t exactly have a problem paying these higher premiums, the same cannot always be said for many hardworking female sportspeople. That’s why we work closely with brokers to provide a bespoke service to sports professionals that doesn’t penalise them for their success.

Today’s sports stars are a far cry from their counterparts a generation ago. They are completely focused on their profession, realising their bodies are finely tuned instruments that need to be protected and nurtured. Everything they eat and drink is carefully monitored and they know the importance of rest and recuperation. They live clean, healthy lives – exactly the kind of people the insurance industry would embrace in other circumstances.

Through ERS’s dedicated Prestige proposition, designed exclusively with professional sportspeople in mind, we’ve seen a significant increase in the number of women taking out policies over the past few years, reflecting the changing sporting landscape. What we’ve seen so far could be the tip of the iceberg, as more women gain professional contracts and those that succeed are rewarded more richly for that success.

The theme for this year’s International Women’s Day is #BalanceforBetter and the pursuit of a more gender-balanced world. Suffice it to say that we don’t discriminate between male and female sportspeople anymore than we do male and female drivers. We simply look at each risk profile individually and we treat every prospective customer as a unique, auto-loving human.

Sports Cta Grey