Letter to the Minister

Dear Simon Kirby MP

I have been concerned about high car insurance premiums in my constituency for some time.

I first started to look into this issue in 2013 after I began to receive a large number of complaints from residents. I decided to undertake an extensive piece of research across the constituency to see if the reality matched up with the stories I was being told (and my own experience). My own 'shoparound' revealed the difference in price because of postcode. At that time, a 40 yearold man with no previous motoring convictions driving a Vauxhall Corsa would have paid around £1,100 a year.   In Sutton Coldfield the same man would have paid £650. Hundreds of residents responded to my survey and over half of the respondents were paying over £1,000 despite having no motoring convictions. Many were paying over £2,000.

I recently came across a report published by Thompsons Solicitors, entitled “Ethnic Penalties in Motor Insurance”,  which found that any motorist living in areas with a high proportion of ethnic minority households is being charged higher prices for their car insurance regardless of any other factor. The report can be found here https://www.thompsons.law/media/1839/ethnicpenalties.pdf

This does not surprise me and mirrors the experience my constituents. The researchers additionally found the following:people who live in multi-ethnic districts pay an ‘ethnic penalty’ in higher-than-average motor premiums of up to £458. Variations cannot be accounted for by prevalence of crime, or fear of crime, available claims data or relative affluence.

I believe that this is a credible piece of research and the Government must provide a credible response.  

I believe the Government should launch an inquiry into this issue to ensure that some consumers are not being unfairly discriminated against.

Yours sincerely
 
 
 Shabana Mahmood Member of Parliament for Birmingham Ladywood