There has been a recent boom in ‘Ethical’ products following on from the success of ‘Fair Trade’ and ‘Organic’ but is this all marketing hype designed to boost a company’s profits? There is no doubt that the use of any of these labels opens up a totally justified debate on whether they are sufficiently defined to give the general public the assurances they need. Take ‘Fair Trade’ which has now established itself as a recognised standard but what transparency does the consumer have on whether the price they pay have any bearing on the fairness claims that are made and is the premium that they are prepared to pay for such products, on prices set by the end seller, have more to do with what the market will bear than on making any real difference to the third world producer?
The selling of ethical travel insurance and financial products falls into the same category. A simple claim that a percentage of profits are channelled into good causes is all well and good but the discerning customer should look beyond these headline grabbing claims and ask serious questions. Take Travel Insurance – there are literally hundreds of companies, many well known, that jump onto the bandwagon simply to try and grab a share of this growing market. This is tantamount to using strong arm tactics to drown out the voices of those genuine companies and charities that are offering ethical travel insurance with a difference. Only by looking at the whole picture can you appreciate what makes these new up and coming ethically driven companies a much more attractive option for those who do care about where they put their money. Whether it is directed at helping those in need, say in the developing world or aimed at ecological issues, such as climate change, how companies in the financial sector face up to the growing demand for Corporate Social Responsibility will be the benchmark requirement on which they will be judged in the future.
In financial services broadly, and travel insurance in particular, travelandinsure.com with its ethically viable and socially sustainable product, is among a core of companies who have realised that this is central to how their business operates, and are truly making a difference.