Admiral admits residencism


A survey conducted by Which? magazine has found that insurance brands sailing under the Admiral’s ensign are quoting higher car insurance premiums for people who have not lived in the UK since birth.

The Which? survey established that, by Admiral criteria, people born outside Britain should expect to pay almost 20% more for their car insurance than those who were born in the UK. No other insurer appeared to have a similar policy on non-native motorists.

Accused of discrimination on the basis of national origin, the Admiral quickly broke down and confessed to being a residencist. A spokesman told Post Magazine this week “We do rate on the age someone first comes to the UK. This is not an origin question, but a residency question. We do not ask any questions on where a person is from.”

Very tactful.

Of course there will always be those who argue that underwriting is inherently discriminatory and should be outlawed at once. Fair enough, takes all sorts and that, but isn’t it time the voice of common sense got a hearing?

Now – don’t get me wrong, no offence, with all due respect – Bankstone News isn’t a residencist or anything, but surely all right-minded people know in their hearts that it’s high time somebody took a stand against all these people coming over here and taking our affordable motor insurance quotes.

Tricorns off to Admiral we say!

White Admiral, Photo Credit: Bugman50/BradSmith


Having publicly scorned the polite conventions of dinner-table etiquette, Admiral Henry Engelhardt may now find supper invitations drying up.

“There’s food on the table every night, it’s true,” he confessed to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme this week, adding gratuitously: “I do think things should be spread around a bit.”

Being habituated – as a seafaring man – to eating in “a mess” can hardly excuse such indecorous comportment or its shameless public profession.

Not content, however, with the unsavoury revelations related above, the Admiral went on to air his beef with overfed felines and their grossly distended packages. “I am a founder-owner of the company, so it’s not just my salary that keeps me going,” he declared, “but I do think it’s amazing when you see some of the pay packages put together.”

What can any CEO actually do, he wondered, “to warrant the kind of packages put together compared to the other people working in the organisation?”

Aside from his unconventional table manners, and his indelicacy on the topic of executive remuneration, however, it’s clear the Admiral has a heart of gold.

“It’s important that people feel a part of the organisation,” he announced. “Ownership is part of that – and it shouldn’t just be restricted to top management.”

And with that he marched off to hand each and every one of his crew £1,500 in company shares, thus confirming the old adage that it’s really quite hard to dislike anyone called Henry.


A curse and a pox on yon scurvy recession, sputtered salt-encrusted motor insurer Admiral this week. If it weren’t for a flood of claims shipped amidst the roiling of the current economic storm, the Admiral wouldn’t have had to hoist premium rates five and one half percentage points to make an honest living.

Unfurling its latest results for the first half of the year, the old sea dog revealed a 5% rise in profits swelled by rising car insurance premiums – which, in the wake of this year’s 5.5% rise, are now 8% higher than a year ago. Time to break out the grog, then.

Scanning the seas ahead, the Admiral spied a further 6% rates increase over the coming half year. The increased costs of sailing with the Admiral don’t seem to be harming recruitment though. Without any recourse to press-ganging, an additional 17% have come aboard, boosting turnover to £540m.

A report from consulting firm Watson Wyatt, meanwhile, suggests the UK private motor insurance industry’s underwriting loss in 2008 was more than double that reported to the FSA.

UK insurance companies reported an underwriting loss of only £493m last year. WW reckon actual losses were far worse but were disguised using past years’ reserves.

Senior consultant Ryan Warren said: “These insurers have tried to bolster their results by releasing money from their reserves, therefore disguising the actual underlying performance of the business. By removing these reserves and allocating them to the year they actually come from, we were able to identify and better understand the true underlying profitability of the market.”

WW conclude that the 2008 result was slightly better than the underwriting loss of over £1.1bn in 2007 and represented a break in a continuous trend of losses since 2004 – the only profitable year in the past decade, when the market made a profit of £77m.

RW said slightly improved results last year were due to a reduction in the number of claims, a slight increase in rates, and the restructuring of reinsurance programmes leading to savings in reinsurance spend. However many still struggled to break even last year.”

The firm predicted a return to profitability next year, with projected underwriting losses falling from the current 15% of earned premiums to 6%, with a 2% per annum return on capital after allowing for investment returns.

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