Ariens suffer road rage, Scorpios stay sane
The money men are seeing stars, says Michael Drewett (Sagittarius)
Sunday 08 September 1996
All a load of nonsense. Maybe. But just as reading horoscopes remains popular, a surprising number of financial companies have taken a look at which star signs are most likely to be their best or worst customers. Without exception, they insist it is simply a "bit of fun" - we are not about to have to pay different insurance premiums depending on our star sign, for example.
But at least one company, Colonial Finance, having found that the most common signs among its personal loan customers were Pisces and Leo, is taking this research sufficiently seriously to target a mailshot at people born under these signs.
Customer research at car insurer Zurich Municipal has found that Ariens - the rams - have, appropriately enough, the worst record for making claims on motor insurance policies. Sagittarians and Capricorns were least likely, it found. Elsewhere, a yet-to-be published study by Black Horse Life, an insurance arm of Lloyds Bank, among claimants on its sickness policies (called permanent health insurance) could claim to have found some support for the view that Taureans live up to their image of being "fun-loving bulls". Taureans are said to enjoy fine food and wine - but they also comprise 60 per cent of all the claims for heart attacks Black Horse has paid out on.
Geminis, who are said to live off nervous energy and suffer if it cannot be put to good use, are easily the leading claimants overall at Black Horse - malignant cancers and mental illness being particularly prevalent.
Sensitive, forgiving Cancerians find it difficult to concentrate, which might explain why they hold the accolade of the greatest number of claims as a result of accidents. One of the healthiest signs to be born under appears to be Scorpio. With the lowest number of mental illness claims, Scorpios reach an average age of 49 before claiming at all. Stargazing experts describe a typical Scorpio as having a high sex drive which is often channelled into sport and general fitness. It seems to pay off.
Of course for every star sign that appears to live up to its image there are counter-examples. Virgos supposedly have the reputation of being the "hypochondriacs of the zodiac" - practical people who also worry too much, suffer from resultant headaches and beat a path to the doctor's surgery at the first sign of trouble. Black Horse, however, says Virgos have made the fewest claims on its ill-health policies.
But even discounting the astrological aspect, Black Horse also found among its 300 claimants that those claiming for respiratory problems and arthritis had all been born in the autumn or winter, and all those with circulatory conditions had been born in the winter months.
Nevertheless, Black Horse marketing director Debbie Gorski is at pains to downplay the research as offering any serious pointers: "We wouldn't want anyone to get the astrological aspect out of proportion, but there are some noticeable and interesting differences between some signs. However, neither we nor anyone else that I know of would actually allow star sign statistics to interfere with medical underwriting."
Similarly, Zurich Municipal is not about to turn Ariens away for motor insurance or even charge them more because of their star sign - although they may still end up paying more if their claims record is that of a "typical" Aries.
Colonial Finance, by contrast, having found the disproportionate number of Pisceans and Leos among its personal loan customers, is hoping to get a better-than-average take-up rate by running a mailshot to people born under just those signs. But it also emphasises that it is not abandoning mailshotting people with other star signs.
The City, too, appears not to wholly disregard astrology and similar superstitions. A number of banks have retained the services of astrologers, according to the Astrological Association. Stockbroker Credit Lyonnais Securities says its annual publishing of Chinese "Feng Shui" economic, financial and political predictions has proved surprisingly popular. The bank makes clear the predictions are not its own but compiled by various Asian sages, but it claims some have proved uncannily accurate. These have included the re-election of Boris Yeltsin and the prediction of "significant army manoeuvres in southern China" which directly preceded the recent threats to Taiwan by China. The next significant prediction is a major problem in world stock markets in September or October making it a sell period, according to the witch doctors. The London office of Credit Lyonnais Securities (Asia) makes the words of wisdom available to any clients who want to read them - they are published in February each year - but gives a strictly "no comment" view on their validity.
Additional reporting by Steve Lodge
Is your name now 'banned' in Saudi Arabia?
Oscar Pistorius trial: Photographs of Paralympian splattered in blood shown in court
Seth Rogen compiles list of all the celebrities he’s got high with
Missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370: Satellite ‘pings sent five hours after contact was lost' the only clue in hunt for £160m plane
Missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370: New radar evidence suggests missing plane may have been hijacked
Katie Hopkins continues campaign to become Britain's most hated talking head with poorly timed Bob Crow tweet
No EU referendum under Labour: Ed Miliband to reveal that vote on membership is ‘unlikely’ in next Parliament if party wins power
Grace Dent: Who cares if she spells it Barraco Barner? Gemma Worrall is more employable than some bookish arts graduate
Europeans have ‘got whiter’ due to natural selection in past 5,000 years, scientists say
Fracking is turning the US into a bigger oil producer than Saudi Arabia
The rise of Ukip: Study warns Labour that Eurosceptic party's electoral base now 'more working class than any of the main parties'
- 1 Is your name now 'banned' in Saudi Arabia?
- 2 Best films on Netflix: 32 movies that will put an end to your scrolling
- 3 Saving a crushed egg with tape and glue: Why you should care about the kakapo
- 4 Istanbul protesters take 'Ellen selfie' from the back of a police van
- 5 Lady Gaga has struggled with eating disorders in the past, so it's indefensible that she's glamourising bulimia in her SXSW set
iJobs Money & Business
£35000 - £43000 per annum + Bonus and Benefits: Harrington Starr: A global lea...
£50000 - £60000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Linux Systems Administrator - UNI...
£32000 - £36000 per annum + generous benefits: Pro-Recruitment Group: * TAX * ...
£37000 - £40000 per annum + £20000 benefits package: Pro-Recruitment Group: **...