How insurers calculate premiums has always been the subject of controversy – taking into account factors like whether a person is married or not, their occupation and their gender has led to many accusations of discrimination.
Whether those complaints are justified or not is open for debate – but the latest factor that appears to be taken into account by one UK-based insurer certainly appears more head-scratching than most.
That factor is your email address – and more specifically, whether you have a Hotmail account or not.
According to a report by The Sun, Admiral is charging higher premiums to drivers with a Hotmail address than it would to those with a Gmail account. Its enquiries revealed that two identical drivers received quotes of £467.04 for having a Hotmail account and £435.68 with a Gmail account on Gocompare.com – that’s more than £31 difference. Similar searches were carried out on multiple comparison websites – including the likes of moneysupermarket.com and confused.com – and there was a consistent difference between the Hotmail user and the Gmail user, albeit the differences were much smaller – at around £6.
The insurer reportedly admitted to taking into account the email domain of a driver, with the publication quoting it as saying “certain domain names are associated with more accidents than others.”
The report also quotes Martha Spurrier, of human rights group Liberty, as saying that “this kind of discrimination has no place in the UK.” It added that the Financial Conduct Authority is looking into the findings.
As insurance professionals, what do you think of taking into account an email domain when determining a premium? Is it fair? Leave a comment below with your thoughts.