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An insurance company denied it discriminated against Muslims, our experiment showed otherwise
By: Barfi Culture Team
Published: 26th January 2018

On Monday this week The Sun newspaper claimed that British Muslims were being forced to pay extra in car insurance just because of their name.

"Top firms Admiral, Marks & Spencer, Bell, Elephant and Diamond all give far lower quotes when the driver has the English name John, a Sun investigation reveals," it reported.

Its own investigation found that drivers were being charged extra, when comparing identical claims, just because they had a Muslim name.

"Victim Mr Butt told how 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 Sun reported.

A spokesperson for Admiral strenuously denied the claim, telling the BBC: "The insurance quotes in the news article were not like for like. We take these allegations very seriously and we are consulting our lawyers."

But the matter did not end there.

The following day several people on Twitter tried the same experiment.

One of them, Paul Lomax, found this




He followed this up too



But insurance company Admiral were adamant it was a mistake.



They also sent an email to customers saying: "You may have seen a story in the news which claims we use customers' names to price our insurance based on race."

"This is 100% not the case and we do not, and have never, used this information to provide a price to our customers. I'm sorry if this story has caused you any concerns."

Such discrimination on the basis of race would be illegal.

Except, people kept on saying they too had found evidence of discrimination.




And then a day after, another man replicated the same problem.



Admiral UK once again responded by saying they were investigating the discrepancy. Its worth noting the quotes were for car insurance, not other forms of insurance.

So, today, Barfi Culture asked Sadiq, one of the users above who had found this discrepancy, if he could try again.



This is what he found. 'John' was offered a quote for car insurance £350 lower than 'Sadiq' was, with the same details.

Admiral UK say they will respond to him in writing, following an investigation. He is still waiting to hear back.

Update: Shazia Awan-Scully alerted us to her tweet and findings.



They speak for themselves.


Article published on 26th January 2018 in the Media section




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