Stamford Hill blasts postcode ‘boycott’

By James Martin, June 11, 2009

People in Stamford Hill are being refused quotes from a leading medical insurer, which says it is investigating “claims abnormalities” in the area.

The Western Provident Association (WPA) has refused to send brochures for its cash plan schemes to a number of JC readers.
They were told no policies were being sold to people from postcodes “under investigation”. These include N15, N16 and E5 — where many strictly Orthodox people live.

Dalia Wosner, from Stamford Hill, said: “The sales person was very polite and seemed keen for me to hand over my details. When I said I was from E5 they said they couldn’t send me any information because they weren’t doing business with people from this postcode.”
We rang WPA ourselves and asked for its brochures. Staff took details, but when we asked for the material to be sent to an N16 address, they refused.

They told us: “We are not sending out brochures to people from this postcode,” citing “investigations into claims abnormalities”.
Rabbi Avraham Pinter, head of Yesodei Hatorah School in Stamford Hill, was also told he could not receive a brochure from WPA.

He wrote to North Hackney and Stoke Newington MP Diane Abbott, saying: “They informed me they are not insuring or sending out details to any one within my postcode as there was an ongoing investigation by another company for ‘claim abnormalities’.

WPA’s Charles MacEwan said he “resented” the suggestion that it was claims from large Jewish families which were under investigation.
He said: “At the moment we are investigating claims abnormalities in different postcodes. We are not offering cash plans to people from those area codes. Jewish families are nothing to do with it. We welcome all communities on to our schemes.”

He said that investigations had begun around three weeks ago due to “abnormalities which were flagged up on our computer”.
WPA, of Somerset, describes itself as a not-for-profit firm “with no shareholders, which puts customers first.”

Last updated: 11:46am, June 11 2009