We’re doing practical work to campaign on the housing agenda.
Funding frontline services
We continued frontline funding of Shelter’s West Sussex and Surrey service, which since July 2010 has helped 2,230 people to get advice and avoid repossession. The service has also helped our senior management team understand the real implications of getting mortgage advice wrong for our clients.
The Personal Safety Agenda
As a home insurer we feel it’s important that consumers understand personal safety around the home. We worked with the Suzy Lamplugh Trust on the 2011 National Personal Safety Day campaign, On the Homefront, which reached 27.6m people in the UK. It aimed to give people some practical, common sense tips on how to improve their safety in and around the home.
Influencing Housing Policy
Legal & General Network and Shelter published a report into the economic case for housing.
It aimed to:
launch and promote work undertaken by Robert Carver and Vicky Pryce / FTI Consulting, setting out how public investment in housing can deliver an economic stimulus;
promote discussion on the economic stimulus effects of housing investment to a non-housing audience with the power to influence decision makers;
discuss challenges and opportunities to inform future research, policy, and campaigning.
We launched Brokering Change, a scheme that gives brokers the chance to help people in housing need. Under the scheme, intermediaries donate £1 to Shelter from each fee they receive from lenders for arranging a mortgage deal.
The brokers get access to materials they can use with customers, showing their ethical behaviour in supporting the scheme. It’s early days for the scheme, which is the first of its type in the UK.
Making housing a 2015 election priority
This will have a worrying impact on Shelter’s clients, as well as delaying the long-term solutions we need to tackle our housing crisis.
Legal & General and Shelter hosted policy review workshops with industry thinkers and campaigners to look at the plan to make housing a priority for the 2015 elections.
This event was an opportunity to discuss how Shelter can reinstate housing as one of the top five election issues. They have begun analysing attitudinal and political barriers to this goal and would value our supporters’ insights on how we approach the next stage.
A better understanding of social housing provision
Following challenges from Shelter on our approach to helping social housing providers insure their tenants’ property and contents, we’re looking at commercial partnerships to provide insurance to this sector.
Currently, 12.3% of our customers rely on social housing, and we know we have more work to do to support them.
We consulted social housing providers, such as the Anchor Trust, to understand the implications of underinsurance and not insuring their properties. We looked at the impact that this has had on their void rates and their ability to grow as demand increases for their services.
When buy-to-let goes wrong
In July 2011, Legal & General Network, Xperience (our estate agent franchise business) and the Estate Agency Foundation joined forces to support Shelter with a £20,000 donation to its advice helpline.
A visit to the helpline to see how the funds were being used provided an opportunity for debate. Challenges arose, including Shelter’s assumption that all landlords are rogues.
Xperience shared its knowledge of the buy-to-let market, where clients would sometimes become unintentional landlords without really understanding what being a responsible landlord involves.
We also discussed earlier intervention in the mortgage default process by Shelter.
Legal & General Network employees continue to support Shelter, with fundraising events such as Vertical Rush, South West Coastal Path Walks and Shoebox for Shelter. The partnership with Shelter has been recognised at the 2011 Third Sector Partnerships conference and the Third Sector Awards 2011.
HOME INSURANCE CAMPAIGNS
We continue to campaign about emerging issues, alerting consumers to trends that may lead to them being under or uninsured.
Major campaigns include:
We’ve been working to reduce the environmental impact of restoring customers’ homes after they’ve been damaged. This includes using sustainable materials when we settle claims.