If you’re one of the few that has loyally stuck with your Hotmail account since the 90s then we have some potentially worrying news.
The Sun newspaper has made the claim that insurers are actually penalising you based on the type of email client you use.
According to the Sun’s investigation, it was found that when trying to get an insurance quote through Admiral there was a marked increase in the quote given when they used a Hotmail address instead of a Gmail address.
Aside from changing the emails, the newspaper claims that all the other details it provided for the quote were identical.
In response to the claim Admiral did say that, “Certain domain names are associated with more accidents than others.”
While this might seem more than a little harsh, there is a rather brutal logic in what is almost certainly an impenetrable algorithm.
Hotmail became all the rage during the late 90s thanks almost exclusively to the fact that it was one of the few email services that was free.
As part of the MSN network it also offered up access to one of the first and most popular instant messaging services since the internet was founded: MSN Messenger.
In short, Hotmail was the only email address that you needed if you were young and looking to avoid spending either money on an email address or thousands of text messages that would all cost 10p a go.
Sadly it seems that by being part of this cultural revolution (and by failing to leave it), the insurance algorithms could be using it as a point of reference by which to determine a person’s age.
Of course it also goes without saying that Admiral’s original statement is also true, which is that on the whole, it has found that those with a certain type of email address are more likely to have an accident.
As if to reinforce this, Admiral told us in a statement: “We use a variety of pieces of information to accurately produce a competitive price for our customers.”
Either way, if you are still using a Hotmail address it might be worth looking into switching, either to Microsoft’s new Live account or some more recent alternative.