Probe into insurer's 'misleading' Iggy Pop ad

A car insurer admitted today it refuses to cover musicians - despite featuring Iggy Pop in its adverts.

The veteran rocker is the star of Swiftcover's "Get a life. Get Swiftcovered" campaign.

Swiftcover, part of the Axa insurance group, claimed it chose the long-haired American singer - whose hits include Lust for Life and The Passenger - to be the face of the company as an actor who "loves life" rather than as a musician.

But the online insurance firm came under attack for turning down people who work in the music and entertainment industry for car insurance, citing higher levels of risk and potential claims costs as its reasons.

The Advertising Standards Authority said it has launched an investigation after receiving 12 complaints from those deemed ineligible because of their jobs.

Tim Soong, who plays bass guitar in Roguetune, told London's Evening Standard he planned to report Swiftcover to the ASA.

"The customer services operator told me they don't insure musicians," he said. "When I mentioned Iggy Pop, she said his case was different because he is American."

A spokesman for the ASA said: "We have received 12 complaints and we are formally investigating those complaints.

"They have challenged whether it is misleading to suggest Iggy Pop has insurance with Swiftcover because its website states that those who work in entertainment cannot take out a car insurance policy with that insurer."

The ASA will publish its adjudication in due course, the spokesman added.

Tina Shortle, marketing director of swiftcover.com, said: "Swiftcover.com chose Iggy Pop as the face of its advertising because he loves life, not because he is a musician.

"He is an actor demonstrating the benefits of swiftcover.com.

"Swiftcover.com strives to provide the best priced insurance to as many motorists as possible and is regularly named the UK's cheapest insurer.

"Insurance premiums are based on a number of different data, including the historic claims costs swiftcover.com has witnessed for specific occupations.

"This means that we do not provide cover to some professions that, according to that data, have a higher level of claims costs.

"The reason swiftcover.com doesn't cover people in the 'entertainment business' is due to the risk of personal injury.

"That risk then becomes something for a specialist insurer to take on."

Swiftcover's list of uninsurable occupations also includes gambling, modelling, professional sport, bailiffs and bodyguards.

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