Scandal-plagued insurer accused of ethnic discrimination

Scandal-plagued insurer accused of ethnic discrimination
Photo: DPA
A subsidiary of a German insurance company under fire for a controversial company sex party has now been accused of denying auto insurance to foreigners.

DAS, which is owned by the Ergo company – dogged by allegations employees at its Hamburg-Mannheimer unit held an orgy for top salesmen in Budapest several years ago – is said to have discriminated against Russians, Poles and Italians.

But Turks were particularly shunned, according to this week’s edition of Der Spiegel magazine.

“Turks were especially unwelcome as customers,” a former insurance agent told Der Spiegel.

When company officials noticed people with unusual names applying for auto insurance – even if they had German citizenship – they immediately demanded an explanation from insurance agents and rarely granted coverage, the magazine reported.

The policy was supposedly always communicated orally, but never in writing in order to avoid the eyes of regulators.

But an Ergo spokesman denied the allegations.

“Prices since 1995 have had no surcharges, or the like, which are linked to the nationality of the customer,” the spokesman said, adding that a full evaluation showed “no discrimination.”

In addition to the sex party revelations, Ergo has been confronted with charges that it overcharged Germans saving for retirement with so-called Riester-Rente accounts.

The Local/mdm

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