Insurers accused of charging more to motorists called Mohammed

23rd Feb 2018

Elham Asaad Buaras

Some of the UK’s largest car insurers have denied accusations motorists named Mohammed are being charged almost £1,000 more.

According to an investigation by The Sun, Admiral demonstrated some of “the most shocking example” of insurance quote discrimination.

When investigators used John Smith seeking insurance for a 2007 Ford Focus in Leicester the quote was £1,333, when the identical details were submitted using the name Mohammed Ali, the quote rose by a whopping £919 to £2,252.

One victim of the scandal Mohammed Butt raged: “It’s racism, pure and simple. They cannot say Mohammeds are worse drivers than Johns.”

Equalities advocate Shazia Awan-Scully tweeted about her own investigation. “My husband @roger_scully and I searched for car insurance on @MoneySupermkt – got quotes from £252.68. Re-did search with identical information – but changed Roger’s name to ‘Mohammed Abdul’. Price leapt to £410.70. This is the reality of discrimination for Muslims in the #UK”.

Admiral is accused of being the biggest offenders regularly charging customers more for having an Asian/Muslim name. The Sun received 60 quotes using GoCompare and others comparison sites showing results directly from insurers.

According to The Sun, “Admiral and its sister companies Diamond, Bell and Elephant always quoted more if the driver was called Mohammed. The difference was often hundreds of pounds. The story was similar when we went to the firm direct. Quotes we sought ranged across ten cities.”

Admiral said the insurance quotes used in The Sun’s investigation “were not like for like. We take these allegations very seriously and we are consulting our lawyers”.

A spokesman for Admiral told The Muslim News, “The Sun’s article is wrong. We do not and never have used a customer’s name or any other piece of information to rate on race.”

Marks & Spencer wanted £3,182 to insure a Mohammed Smith in Cardiff; they quoted John Smith £2,949.

M&S Bank denied discrimination “under any circumstances and a customer’s name or ethnicity has absolutely no impact on their insurance premium.”

A spokesman for M&S told The Muslim News, “We provided identical quotes in all cases where the scenarios for the two customers were exactly the same. Where there were differences in the scenario, there was a variance in price, this wasn’t a result of the customer’s name.”

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