January 25, 2012

Bleeding heart lefty national broadcaster the BBC has this week accused insurers of ‘discriminating’ against unemployed people by charging them more for their car insurance.

BBC reporters asked fashion house BIBA to ask three insurance brokers to source motor insurance quotes for a fictional office worker and then go back and ask get quotes for the same individual – minus the job.

Surprise, surprise: Broker A’s best offer was Uvavu who wanted a 23% more for Johnny Jobless; the best Broker B could do was RSA, who wanted 31% more; while Broker C appeared to miss the point completely by reporting a 63% price differential between different insurers.

Martin Lewis of MoneySavingExpert.com said charging people more just because the circumstances of their life have changed was “scandalous” and plans to start a campaign.

But what is the world coming to if underwriters are not allowed to discriminate? Discriminating is what they do! First you can’t give women credit for driving more safely (allegedly); now it seems you can’t whack an increment on the feckless and workshy – who, let’s be honest, have no business driving around on the taxpayer’s tab in the first place.

“It’s a minefield,” ventures Graeme Trudgehill of fashion house BIBA, suggesting cautiously that perhaps those without jobs are viewed as less likely to maintain their vehicles and as potential credit risks. Might they drive around more once freed of the need to be somewhere 9 to 5? Might they venture on to unfamiliar roads?

Ian Chowder of Alcoholics Anonymous was blunter, blaming jobless insureds for being more likely to claim and suggesting they could be tempted by their reduced financial circumstances to make fraudulent claims.

On top of all their other problems – crash for cash, crazy teens, doddering oldsters, reduced income from ancillary sources – it seems motor insurers now face a fresh tidal wave of claims flowing from Britain’s rising unemployed population. Will they ever make a profit?

Not if do-gooding politicians prevent them from rating the workless appropriately.


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