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Ethnic minorities ‘quoted more for UK car cover’

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People with names common among ethnic minorities have been quoted more to insure their cars in the UK, according to two media investigations.

Last month the Sun newspaper claimed motorists were asked to pay more for cover if their name was Mohammed than if they were called John.

In response, BBC radio’s You and Yours program checked five leading comparison sites and found “Muhammad Khan” was quoted on average £140-£280 ($248-$496) more than a white BBC producer. A woman using the surname Khan also produced some higher quotes.

The radio program varied its testing methods by changing its IP address and home address, and in most cases the name Muhammad Khan still showed higher prices.

The Association of British Insurers says it is “unlawful and unacceptable to price insurance based on ethnicity, and insurers will always act within the law”.

The Financial Conduct Authority says it expects insurers “to ensure they are not indirectly discriminating against certain groups of people without legitimate reason”.

The regulator is now investigating how insurers determine prices.