One motor car insurance provider has recently blazed a new trail by being the first to introduce insurance policies that have been ethically screened.
General insurer the Co-operative has begun to offer home, travel, and discount car insurance policies that allow policy holders to prevent their payments from being invested in firms that operate in business sectors about which they have ethical misgivings. No longer will the insurer be investing in corporations that it has determined to be unethical, such as fossil fuel extraction, fur, and the arms trade. Nor will the insurer permit revenue generated from policy holders’ car insurance rates to be funneled into companies which do business within the borders of a country with an oppressive regime.
The Co-operative has already begun to adhere to its Ethical Operating Plan. The firm has pulled approximately £80 million of investment capital from operations it has deemed in violation of ethical standards.
Neville Richardson, chief executive for the firm, stated that the Co-operative’s customers can rest assured that investments made in support of their policies have been selected with ethical standards in mind.
The insurer has long been highly aware that sustainable development is only possible in the face of ethical financial practices, Mr Richardson remarked. To that end the firm’s ethics policies will determine which investments support the £1 billion worth of assets from its business, home, and car insurance products. This is to provide some peace of mind to its customers in knowing their money will be invested in an ethical manner, said the chief executive.
The Co-operative has witheld more than £1 billion of loans from business operations that its customers have declared unethical since the introduction of its ethical banking policy in 1992. Moreover the firm has increased its commercial lending to nearly £9 billion.