The mainstream media has been posting versions of the Citizens Advice report, published today, on alleged race bias when it comes to insurance premium pricing.
To summarise, the report found that postcodes where people from BAME backgrounds lived often had higher premium rates. However the report also found that when they conducted a `name test,’ that’s to say exactly the same address, occupation, NCD & other details, but a white sounding name vs a multi-cultural name, the prices were in fact the same.
Here’s an extract from the Citizens Advice report;
“Based on these findings, we designed mystery shopping to focus on the impact of ethnicity on pricing in the insurance market. Primary data was collected for insurance products, using different postcodes selected to represent areas with different ethnic compositions, and names that are more prevalent in some ethnicities than others. Overall, we found that personas with names signifying different ethnic backgrounds received similar quotes when holding the persona, address and insurance product characteristics constant.”
Later in the report they put forward the theory that despite there being no evidence of racial discrimination at the point of quote, there is bias after all. There just has to be. Here’s an extract that sums up their conclusion;
“Our results did not show any significant difference in prices charged to people with different names in the same postcode area. However, we did find average quotes were higher in areas where Black or South Asian people make up a large proportion of the population. While there are statistical reasons that some areas are more risky than others, common risk factors such as crime rates, road accidents or levels of deprivation in the area could not account for our findings.”
Here’s the ABI response;
“Insurers never use ethnicity as a factor when setting prices and our members comply with the Equality Act. All other rating factors being the same, two people of different ethnicities who live in the same postcode will pay the same premium for their car insurance. Insurance is priced on individual risk levels and there are many different risk related factors that are used to calculate the price of a car insurance policy which, as Citizens Advice recognise, should not be looked at in isolation but ethnicity is not one of them. As the report says, the research ‘was exploratory, and therefore cannot definitively identify what is driving this trend.’
“However, we recognise this report raises an important public policy debate. Like everyone, our sector has a role to play in addressing inequalities that exist in wider society and it’s an issue that we will continue to engage on constructively as an industry.”
The report backs up critical race theory, that white people have an inherent privilege in Britain. That’s why it was commissioned, that’s why the conclusions are that the insurance industry must be a bit racist – even though their own evidence suggests otherwise. It’s very sad to see race baiting being used across the public sector to divide communities, create suspicion and manipulate data to reach the `correct’ conclusion. We are all equal, regardless of race, gender or religion. Or is that too controversial to state anymore?