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Holloway pensioner in car insurance row

PUBLISHED: 19:14 15 September 2010 | UPDATED: 11:11 14 October 2010

LIONEL Jacobs gives the thumbs-down to his car insurance rejection this week

LIONEL Jacobs gives the thumbs-down to his car insurance rejection this week

AN ANGRY pensioner has been refused car insurance by a firm specialising in cover for careful over-50s – because his Islington postcode is deemed too risky. Lionel Jacobs, 73, of Tufnell Park Mansions, in Holloway Road, Holloway, was told he was not eligi

AN ANGRY pensioner has been refused car insurance by a firm specialising in cover for careful over-50s - because his Islington postcode is deemed too risky.

Lionel Jacobs, 73, of Tufnell Park Mansions, in Holloway Road, Holloway, was told he was not eligible to take out cover for his Rover 218 by insurers Saga "because of the area you live in".

Mr Jacobs, a driver for 50 years with no claims, has lived in the same flat with wife Estella for decades and already has house insurance with the same firm.

He feels he is being discriminated against because of his N7 postcode - even though police crime figures show his neighbourhood is "average" in London for car theft and vehicle break-ins.

Mr Jacobs, who even used to have car insurance with Saga, said: "The lady on the phone took all my details and then she said 'I'm sorry, because of the area you live in we can't insure you'. I couldn't believe it! I'm insured with Saga for my house insurance which I renewed in March. With the car insurance, I left Saga for a year to go with Churchill but I saw they had an offer on so I was thinking of going back as they specialise in doing insurance for the over-50s.

"I've lived here for 40 years. Its fine, it's perfect - there's nothing wrong with Holloway. I'm fuming."

The latest Metropolitan Police crimes figures show there were just two cars stolen in St George's ward, where Mr Jacobs lives, in July this year - half as many as in neighbouring Junction and Tollington wards.

There were just nine thefts from cars in the same period compared to 19 in the adjacent ward of Finsbury Park, which is considered "high" for vehicle break-ins by the Met.

Saga's website states: "We believe that drivers over 50 make fewer claims on their car insurance than those under 50, and we aim to reflect this in your premium and that of the million plus drivers already insured with Saga."

Mr Jacobs, a part-time senior hire consultant with Moss Bros, said: "I've been on to the Financial Services Authority and they're going to ask Saga why I was refused. There's lots of OAPs that need insurance around here. They can stick it."

Councillor Tracy Ismail, who has represented St George's ward on Islington Council since 2006 and has lived in the area for 13 years, said: "I don't understand it at all. I would say St George's ward is one of the nicer parts of Islington - it's probably no different to the rest of the country for car crime.

"I think some of these insurance companies use the fact we live in a central London borough as an excuse to bump up their charges."

It is not the first time Islington residents have been shunned by a major national company. In March last year, Sainsbury's stopped delivering internet shopping orders to the Elthorne Estate, off Hornsey Road, Archway, after one of its drivers was attacked there.

A spokeswoman for Saga said the company was trying to contact Mr Jacobs "to resolve the issue" and declined to comment.


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