Equity, the actor’s union, is to launch a campaign against the practice of car insurance companies to charge actors a higher car insurance premium because of their occupation.
Actors and actresses have raised this as an issue on many occasions but it came up again at a recent meeting of the Equity council. Car insurance premiums were said to be the area that was the most problematic.
Following the discovery by Equity that it was not allowed to submit a complaint for all of its members it has encouraged its members to contact the Financial Ombudsman Service on an individual basis.
Contact had already been made by Equity with the Association of British Insurers (ABI) who had confirmed that it was quite likely that actors would be charged more for their car insurance because of their occupation.
The ABI wrote to Equity saying that it was unable to produce any data supporting the above as: “no single insurer has a large enough number of actors as customers to be able to draw reliable statistical conclusions from their claims history”.
The ABI claimed that actors are “much more likely to be involved in a collision than most other occupations,” adding “underwriters have to draw conclusions about the increased risk from what they know”.
The ABI said such reasons as “unusual working hours”, which could mean “driving late at night when roads are more dangerous”, and “the need to travel long distances [when] touring or working away from home” were why actors faced paying higher premiums than some other occupations.
Actors and actresses believe that assumptions of this kind are purely based upon “groundless prejudice”.
Actor Branko Tomovic was refused car rental quite recently by an online company due to the fact that the car insurance package they used did not insure actors.
He stated: “The company I spoke with didn’t even ask me what I was using the car for. Many other professions have the same schedule as an actor. Any self-employed person has to be flexible and be able to work at night or in the day.”