Case Number: DEC-S2016-015. Workplace Relations Commission

CourtWorkplace Relations Commission
Date17 February 2016
Docket NumberDEC-S2016-015
PartiesMr Sebastian Prekun and Mr Tadeusz Prekun -V- Liberty Insurance Ltd
EQUAL STATUS ACTS 2000-2015 Decision DEC – S2016 – 015 PARTIES Mr Sebastian Prekun and Mr Tadeusz Prekun (represented by Rostra Solicitors) and Liberty Insurance Ltd (represented by Mr Francis Kieran, B.L., instructed by Mason, Hayes and Curran, Solicitors) File References: et-158610-es-15 et-156617-es-15 Date of Issue: 17th February 2016

Keywords: insurance – online quote a “service”? – indirect discrimination – verifiable access to customer’s penalty points amounts to objective justification.

1. Claim

1.1. The case concerns one claim each by Mr Sebastian and Mr Tadeusz Prekun, that Liberty Insurance Ltd discriminated against them on the ground of race contrary to Section 3(2)(h) of the Equal Status Acts 2000 to 2011, in terms of providing each of them with differently priced motor insurance quotes for Irish and EU license holders.

1.2. The complainants referred a complaint each under the Equal Status Acts 2000 to 2011 to the Director of the Equality Tribunal on 12 August 2015. A submission was received from the complainant on 12 November 2015. A submission was received from the respondent on 24 December 2015. On 15 January 2016, in accordance with his powers under S. 25 of the Acts, the Director General delegated the case to me, Stephen Bonnlander, an Equality Officer, for investigation, hearing and decision and for the exercise of other relevant functions of the Director under Part III of the Acts. On this date my investigation commenced. As required by Section 25(1) of the Acts and as part of my investigation, I proceeded to hold a joint hearing of the case on 3 February 2016. The last piece of correspondence relating to the complaint was received on 16 February 2016.

2. Summary of the Complainants’ Written Submission

2.1. Both complainants, who are father and son, submit that they are Polish nationals and hold Polish driving licenses. They submit that when they applied for motor insurance quotes with the respondent, the quote for the holder of an Irish driving license was significantly cheaper than the quote for the holder of a Polish driving license.

2.2. According to the complainants, the respondent accepted this price difference in the quotation and explained in writing that it was based on the fact that for holders of Irish driving licenses, the respondent can easily verify a driver’s penalty points, which is not possible when the driver has a Polish license.

2.3. The complainants submit that this amounts to indirect discrimination on the ground of nationality and is repugnant...

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