Helsinki Times: Finnish insurer to pay damages to Congolese families

by , under All categories, Enrique

Comment: It is a positive sign that more cases of racial discrimination are becoming public. One of these below was by Lähivakutus, an insurance company, which refused  to pay damages to a dozen Congolese families in Kajaani because they weren’t Finnish citizens. The insurer admitted its mistake and accepted to pay damages to the families only after the case was taken to the Ombudsman for Minorities. 

These cases, like the building superintendent in Salo who was fired because of his ethnic origin, are unfortunately the tip of the iceberg of a probably much widespread problem in Finland. Unfortunately, many immigrants who are victims of discrimination refuse to take action on their own. 

It is very important that when we are victims of discrimination we file a complaint. This is not only important for us but to our children and grandchildren so they may live one day in a country where these types of practices are the exception.

In the 1980s I applied for an oil company Esso credit card but was refused on the grounds that I wasn’t a Finnish citizen. When I got my Finnish citizenship I applied for a credit card from the same company again. They said they would grant me the credit card but I now refused to accept it. 

A good starting point to report discrimination is the Ombudsman for Minorities.

You can reach them from Monday to Friday 10-12 at 071 878 8666.


Finnish property and casualty insurer Lähivakuutus is to pay damages to a dozen Congolese families for discrimination, the Finnish minority ombudsman’s office said in a statement Wednesday.

Read whole story.

Here is the statement (in Finnish)  by the Ombudsman for Minorities.

  1. JusticeDemon

    Your link doesn’t work.

    My understanding is that the local office of an insurance company was unwilling to sell home insurance policies to certain applicants. The Ombudsman for Minorities has negotiated a settlement and just satisfaction in this case. Frankly, I think the insurance company executives concerned got off lightly (some pub doormen and managers have extended their personal criminal records through corresponding misconduct), but the case has garnered more than enough publicity to boost the general objective of fair and equitable treatment in the insurance business.

    Let’s hope that there is also a knock-on effect in other branches of the financial services industry, but I won’t hold my breath.