Emma Thomson

I’ve worked in the Protection Insurance market for over twenty years and am a passionate advocate for the social good our industry does.

I began my career within the underwriting team at Unum, before moving to LifeSearch in 2000 which at the time was a small protection advisory firm. For eighteen years I helped LifeSearch grow and become the leading protection specialist distributor in the UK. For over ten years I managed our insurer relationships, working with insurers to improve our market for the benefit of consumers; helping all the leading protection insurers develop their systems and processes, in addition to providing consultancy on new product developments and providing insight to assist four insurers launch into the market.

I’ve been a long-time member of industry lobby groups such as the Income Protection Task Force and the Finance & Technology Research Centre’s Protection Forum. I’ve written regular articles on protection for trade publications such as Money Marketing for many years, helping to raise awareness of the value of protection and campaign for change. I work with journalists to help them write features on protection, and have been quoted many times on protection related matters such as product changes, access to insurance and consumer financial resilience. I’ve also been a speaker at several industry conferences.

In 2016 I became the inaugural Chair of the consumer-focused Protection Distributors Group, a role I held until October 2018. During that time I led our group in launching our successful Funeral Payment Pledge and Claims Charter campaigns, initiatives which have improved outcomes for consumers at time of claim.

I’m Chair of the Women in Protection Network which I founded in 2017. I was concerned about the lack of female representation in senior roles and as influencers, so wanted to create a group whereby women in our profession could work together to provide not only a support framework for themselves, but help to improve the gender balance and encourage female career development. I also wanted the group to focus on how we can encourage more women to buy insurers as too few women have the insurance they need. We have members from across the industry including reinsurers, insurers, distributors, the CII and portals, working together to help improve outcomes for women, and raise awareness of the need for our industry to be more inclusive across all social groups to better represent the society we serve.

In October 2018 I joined British Friendly as Product Strategist, expanding our award winning proposition even further. British Friendly has a very consumer-focused culture with a clear purpose to put its members first, and it’s exciting to be part of the team.