Car insurance more expensive for ‘Mohammed’ than for ‘John’
Categories: Latest News
Tuesday January 23 2018
An investigation launched by The Sun reveals that drivers with the first name Mohammed are charged more by insurance companies than their counterparts with English names.
When comparing car insurance, firms such as Admiral, Marks & Spencer, Bell, Elephant and Diamond were found to quote significantly higher prices for ‘Mohammed’ than for ‘John’, despite identical details.
The Sun obtained 60 quotes – ranging across ten cities – via the website GoCompare, and a number of others using similar comparison websites. It reports that in all cases the difference was often hundreds of pounds.
GoCompare, which show results from each specific insurance company, showed that for a fully comprehensive insurance for a 2007 Ford Focus in Leicester, the quote given to ‘John Smith’ was £1,333, but it was £2,252 for ‘Mohammed Ali’. That is a huge £919 more.
In Cardiff, Marks & Spencer quoted £3,182 to insure a Mohammed Smith, but £233 less (£2,949) for John Smith. Similarly, in London, Mohammed was quoted £543 more (£1572) than John (£1029).
In requesting a quote from Admiral, Mohammed Smith from Bradford, claimed that he was charged an extra £166 for his premium, after telling the insurance company that his name was not Suleman as they initially thought, but Mohammed.
He complained: “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.”
Both Admiral and Marks & Spencer have denied the claims.
The Association of British Insurers have slammed any discrimination as “unlawful and unacceptable”.
Meanwhile, the Financial Conduct Authority have vowed to act on The Sun’s findings.
While MEND is currently also investigating these findings, discrimination on the basis of having an ethnic minority or Muslim name is not a new phenomenon. Two investigations into workplace discrimination were conducted by the BBC in 2004 and in 2010.
In the first study, 50 companies were sent fictitious applications from six different applicants, two with traditional English names and four with ethnic sounding names – two of which were Muslim names. The investigation found that 25% of applications from applicants with traditional English names prompted a positive response and an interview offer while only 9% of the ‘Muslim’ applications resulted in the same.
The second study found that applicants with name ‘Adam’ were three times more likely to receive an offer of interview than ‘Mohamed’, despite identical skills and experience. In response to 100 applications, Adam was offered 12 interviews, while Mohamed was offered only four.
MEND is currently investigating the Sun’s findings.