Money & Insurance > Stories

Motorists named Mohammed charged up to £1,000 more for insurance

Nic McBride

Nic McBride
Jan 22, 2018


Major insurers have been exposed for charging motorists named Mohammed nearly £1,000 more to cover their vehicles.

The shocking revelation has prompted the Financial Conduct Authority to investigate.

Top firms Admiral, Marks & Spencer, Bell, Elephant and Diamond all give far lower quotes if the driver was named John, The Sun reported.

One quote from Admiral was even £919 more.

ARE YOU GETTING RIPPED OFF ON INSURANCE?

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A quote under the name "John Smith" for fully comprehensive insurance on a 2007 Ford Focus in Leicester was £1,333.

But for "Mohammed Ali" it was £2,252.

The comparisons were made from 60 quotes based in ten cities, using identical data – except for names.

Admiral, 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 approaching insurers directly.

Marks & Spencer wanted £3,182 to insure a Mohammed Smith in Cardiff.

The same policy for a John Smith there was £2,949.

 

Punished because of his name

One man who has experienced this first hand is Mohammed Butt of Bradford.

"It’s racism, pure and simple. They cannot say Mohammeds are worse drivers than Johns," he told The Sun.

Mr Butt said Admiral initially quoted him insurance thinking his first name was Suleman. When he phoned to tell them it was Mohammed his premium shot up £166.

The Bradford nursing assistant, 36, said: “They admitted the higher price was for no reason other than my name.

"In no simple terms, I have been charged more than if my name was Jack Jones or David Smith.

"In what world do they think that’s acceptable? It’s racism, pure and simple."

FIND OUT IF YOU ARE PAYING TOO MUCH

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"Unlawful and unacceptable"

Admiral boss David Stevens denied the claims.

He said the firm’s anti-fraud software was designed to identify “where inaccurate details are entered or implausibly changed”.

M&S said it “did not discriminate” and would probe the claims.

The Association of British Insurers slammed any discrimination as “unlawful and unacceptable”.

The Financial Conduct Authority vowed to act on the findings.

 

Insurers penalising motorists

This is not the first time that insurers have made questionable premium pricings.

A report in 2016 found that people could pay up to £450 more if they lived in areas with a high density of minority ethnic households.

The report, co-written by the former equality commissioner Trevor Phillips, found millions of people were paying an "ethnic penalty" of up to £450 a year each in higher car insurance premiums.

Premiums for people who lived in these areas had an added penalty which varied from an average of £54 in Manchester to £458 in London.

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