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.
Shabana Mahmood Member of Parliament for Birmingham Ladywood