Insurers refuse to cover gay sauna

A legal business is denied insurance & will be forced to close


Insurance refusal is a threat to all gay saunas in the UK


London, UK – 1 March 2021

The Pink Broadway gay sauna in Southampton is being refused insurance, with either no explanation or claims that insurers don’t cover ‘adult’ businesses.

Insurance is mandatory and the refusal of insurance could force the sauna’s closure in a part of England with few gay meeting and entertainment venues.

Up until now, the business had been successfully insured for 20 years without any problem. The current insurer, Markerstudy (Zenith), have declined to renew the sauna’s policy.

“Give that insurance is mandatory, the refusal of insurance to a lawful business is disturbing. It could force the sauna out of business in a region of the country where there are already too few gay meeting and entertainment venues,” said human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell, Director of the Peter Tatchell Foundation.

“The owner, Nick Batt, has a legitimate grievance and I am surprised that he seems to have had no support from the Association of British Insurers, the Financial Conduct Authority and the Federation of Small Businesses Insurance. Whatever people think about the adult services industry, it is legal and should not be refused the cover it needs to operate.

“If rejection by insurers becomes standard it could mean the closure of all gay saunas in the UK,” added Mr Tatchell.

Nick Batt, says that 15 years ago he claimed from Zurich insurance, and they paid out without dispute, for damage done by a contractor during a renovation. This was always declared at every policy renewal since then, with no problem. He was told that his past claim is not a reason for the current insurance refusal.

Nick Batt, owner of Pink Broadway gay sauna in Southampton writes about his case (which you are free to quote from):

I have been trying to renew my insurance policy since November 2020.

The Government insist on Liability Insurance, in order to trade.

I have had insurance for the last 20 years, without any problem.

I have asked for help from…..
My original broker
3 further brokers (who have contacted dozens of insurers)
Federation of Small Businesses (Insurance)

I have written to Boris Johnson, The Chancellor, my local MP Suella Braverman, John Glenn MP, and sought help from several CEO’s.

I cannot get to the bottom of why there is reluctance for the above people to help and advise, or whether it is homophobic or just embarrassment?

I have been told at various times “Saunas are a fire risk…” (what about the last 20 years?)

“Potential water leaks….” (What about the last 20 years?)

The Federation of Small Businesses Insurance said, “Change your business model, and remove the adult content on your web-site…”

It’s my concern that places like mine when they go to renew their policies, will not be able to. No one in the public eye, it seems, has the balls to fight this issue out in the open.

There has always been a niche Adult Entertainment arm to insurance.

It may well be that it’s not exactly a homophobic injustice, but it certainly affects gay communities across the country. The potential loss will have a huge effect on my customers and friends. I thought that aspect alone is worthy of attention, and should be highlighted in the press, with questions asked.

London has lost 7 saunas this year, and I don’t want to end up closing for good.

Southampton Council have been a huge source of help and taxpayers money has kept us viable during Covid. But now the insurance industry is turning their backs on us.

I am happy to discuss and for any media to report my story.

Yours sincerely, Nick Batt