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Drivers with Muslim-Sounding Names are Charged More for Car Insurance

An investigation found "racism pure and simple" as "Mohammeds" are charged more than "Johns".

by Nana Baah
22 January 2018, 3:11pm

Drivers called Mohammed receive higher car insurance quotes than those with traditionally-English names.

An investigation by The Sun sourced 60 quotes from different comparison websites in 10 locations across the UK, as well as directly from insurance companies. Firms including Marks & Spencer and Elephant all charged hundreds of pounds more to insure a driver called Mohammed than one called John. Admiral had the most dramatic difference: £919 between a "John Smith" and "Mohammed Ali" for an identical comprehensive insurance quote.

Mohammed Suleman Butt, a victim of discrimination, told The Sun “It’s racism, pure and simple. They cannot say Mohammeds are worse drivers than Johns.”

Previously, Admiral quoted him when they believed his first name was Suleman, but after Mohammed called and corrected them his premium rose by £166. “They admitted the higher price was for no reason other than my name.” he said.

Admiral and Marks & Spencer denied claims of discrimination and promised to investigate. However, this isn't the first investigation into the ways people with Muslim-sounding names are discriminated against.

After sending out two identical CVs under the names “Adam” and “Mohamed” a study by Inside Out and Bristol University found that those with traditionally English names were three times more likely to receive a positive response from employers.

Last year, a recruitment officer also told the Evening Standard that some organisations ask “Please don’t send us any foreign names” when looking for CVs. Under the Equality Act 2010 it is illegal to discriminate against race, religion or national background when recruiting.