Some British motorists living in areas where there are a higher proportion of colored people have paid more than white people for their car insurance, a charity organization has found.
Consumer charity Citizens Advice working with the research agency Europe Economics carried out 649 mystery shops for car insurance quotes using six different customer names across eight postcodes in UK reporting that minority ethnic people pay at least 280 pounds more than the white people for their annual car insurance.
Everyone in those postcodes pays the higher prices, regardless of ethnicity. But if the trend was replicated across the country, people of color would all together pay at least 213 million pounds more for their insurance than white people, Citizens Advice said.
The charity estimated that 754,000 people of colour held car insurance policies and lived in areas affected by the alleged ethnicity penalty.
It found that ethnicity penalty in areas with large proportions of black or south Asian people was “up to 950 pounds in some places”.
James Dalton, a director of the insurers’ association, said: “Insurers never use ethnicity as a factor when setting prices and our members comply with the Equality Act.”
“All other rating factors being the same, two people of different ethnicities who live in the same postcode will pay the same premium for their car insurance.”
“Insurance is priced on individual risk levels and there are many different risk-related factors that are used to calculate the price of a car insurance policy which, as Citizens Advice recognize, should not be looked at in isolation but ethnicity is not one of them,” he said.
Possible links between insurance and ethnicity have been highlighted before. In 2016, a report co-written by the former equality commissioner Trevor Phillips claimed millions of people living in areas with a high density of minority-ethnic households were paying an “ethnic minority penalty” of up to 450 pounds a year in higher motor premiums.
Another critical study by the Labour Party in early January showed that more than half of black children in the UK were growing up in poverty, while white children had far better living conditions.
The Labour party said the unfair situation, portrayed by the results of the survey, was a result of “Conservative incompetence and denialism about the existence of structural racism.”