Insurance firms deny ‘racism’ request

The Admiral insurance group says it has taken the unprecedented step of contacts with customers to deny a newspaper report that suggests that it is racist.

The Sun supports motorists using the Admiral brands and M&S is being asked to pay more to insure their car if their name is Mohammed, with respect to the name of John.

Both companies have said they do not discriminate, in any case.

A spokesman for The Sun said: “we defend our history.”
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The newspaper claimed used “identical details,” part of the names, with 60 quotes from the price comparison website Go Compare, as well as quotes directly from the insurance companies and other comparison sites.

But a spokesman for the Admiral group, which has offices in Cardiff, Swansea and Newport, said: “The insurance quotes in the news article were not similar.

“We take these allegations very seriously and we are consulting our lawyers.”


In an e-mail to customers, the Admiral of the executive director for italy Auto Insurance, Cristina Nestares, said: “You may have seen an article in the news section, which claims to use the names of the customers to price our insurance based on race.

“This is 100% not the case and we do not, and have never used these information to provide you with a price for our customers. I’m sorry if this story has caused you problems.”

He added they had used a “complex evaluation of structure” to offer insurance prices by using different variables and sources of data.

“The journalists have misunderstood our prices and insurance quotes in the story are not similar,” he said.

The Sun article entitled, the Admiral Group’s brands Admiral, Bell, Elephant and Diamond as well as the M&S car insurance.

The newspaper alleged the company “is always cited if the driver was called Mohammed”, and the difference was often hundreds of pounds.

M&S Bank spokesman said that “not discriminate, in any case,” and the name of the customer or of ethnic origin, has “absolutely no impact on their insurance premium”.

“We have delivered units to be identical in all the cases where the scenarios for the two customers are exactly the same. Where there were differences in the scenario, there has been a price change, this was not a result of the customer’s name,” he added.

A spokesman from GoCompare said that it had “no influence” on how the customer’s information has been interpreted by the insurers for the calculation of insurance premiums.

“We collect information from the customer, and then present the prices and levels of cover from the insurers who are willing to quote for the customer,” he said.