Insurance companies are discriminating against potential customers based on their email address, with Hotmail users being quoted higher premiums compared to Gmail users.
The insurance companies claim that the difference is based on data that suggests that Hotmail users cost them more in terms of claims compared to Gmail users.
The findings come from an investigation by The Sun. Reporters applied for insurance quotes on price comparison sites using profiles that were identical apart from the email address. One of the UK's largest motor insurers, Admiral, was singled out for discriminating in terms of price.
"We found that on comparison website GoCompare, Admiral charged a Hotmail driver £467.04 and a Gmail one £435.68 — £31.36 less," the reporters said.
Admiral admitted that it does use email domains as one variable in its risk estimation algorithms saying: "Certain domain names are associated with more accidents than others."
Perhaps it's the 'hot' in Hotmail that makes its users such rubber burning pedal-to-the-metal maniacs?
But, if that's true, what of devil-may-care thrice-hacked Yahoo Mail users, or customers of domains such as death-star.com, racedriver.com, crazysexycool.com or reallyfast.biz?
Perhaps they need to sign up for a burner account from safe-mail.net for use on GoCompare?
These insurers were not alone in their discrimination, however. M&S Insurance also bumped up the price based on the name alone.
Admiral boss David Stevens blamed its anti-fraud software for the differences in quotes, while M&S promised to look into the matter.
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