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NRMA Insurance settles discrimination case

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NRMA Insurance has settled a case lodged by a child sex offender who successfully claimed the insurer “discriminated” against him when it refused him insurance because of his criminal record.

A spokesman for the IAG-owned business told insuranceNEWS.com.au that “a confidential resolution has been reached with the parties involved and this matter is concluded”.

The ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal had ruled the insurer relied on an “irrelevant criminal record” to decline providing public liability cover to the Canberra man’s gardening business.

At the time of his unsuccessful bids for cover, the man already had personal lines policies with NRMA Insurance.

When the man first attempted to buy the policy in April last year, he had disclosed that he was facing a criminal proceeding. He was rejected a second time after being convicted of the crime and having a three-year good behaviour bond imposed.

The man then lodged a complaint with the ACT Human Rights Commission, which referred it to the tribunal.

IAG submitted to the tribunal its refusal was based on a belief that “people with serious criminal convictions were perceived as constituting so great a risk that they could not be insured,” the ruling noted.

But when pressed by the tribunal to provide actuarial data to support its assertion that criminals carry a higher risk, the insurer could not do so.

“The tribunal is satisfied that the [insurer] has discriminated against the [man] by refusing to supply him with commercial insurance because of an irrelevant criminal record,” the tribunal says in the ruling published in July.