Landlords who house asylum seekers will get 40% off the cost of insurance through a new scheme,,claims a charity.

HACT Housing Action Limited (HACTal), the trading arm of the Housing Assocation's Charitable Trust (HACT), initially devised the scheme for social housing landlords but has now rolled out the offer to the private sector.

Savings will apply to both buildings and contents policies.

The charity says its research has highlighted significant prejudice in the insurance markets against refugees and asylum seekers.

It also claims that landlords who house those people also suffer from prejudice and, as a result, have to pay increased insurance premiums.

Chris Brown, chief executive of HACTal said: “I sometimes wonder whether insurance company actuaries load asylum seeker premiums more because of race rather than risk.

“The end result is that many perfectly respectable people who come to our shores in the face of persecution by some of the world's bloodiest regimes, then seem to have to face our own financial institutions' tailor-made refugee tax in the form of loaded premiums.”

He added: “I want landlords and asylum-seekers to have more opportunity to fight back against entrenched corporate prejudice.”

Brown claims that when HACTal looked at the facts with insurers, it became apparent that the extra premium charged by insurers to cover refugees is not justified as there is no proportionate increase in the risk of claims.

HACTal has appointed Holman of London to underwrite their household insurance packages.

Holman is licensed to use the name HACT Risk & Insurance Management, and will accept enquiries direct from landlords or brokers via a call centre.

Any revenue from the sale of the new houshold cover will benefit the charity directly. HACT has been established for 40 years and was set up to tackle housing need and homelessness.