The Consumer Federation of America (CFA) unveiled its latest report Monday, with the study’s findings suggesting that motorists with lower incomes pay considerably more for basic car insurance.
The study analyzed price quotes for minimum liability coverage, and found that hypothetical lower-income drivers were quoted premiums costing an average of 59% more (or $681 more) than drivers with higher incomes—despite having perfect driving records.
With the results of its study, the CFA concluded that it was unfair for insurers to use motorists’ educational levels, marital statuses, and housing to determine how much they should pay for auto insurance, reported StarTribune
Of the 15 cities and communities surveyed by the study, Minneapolis posted the largest disparities in insurance quotes between higher and lower income consumers. The report found that GEICO charged a lower-income female in Minneapolis 300% more than a similar female motorist with a higher socio-economic status.
Several insurers and industry experts have commented on the report’s findings.
“Balderdash,” remarked Insurance Information Institute chief actuary James Lynch. He underscored that while variables such as education level and homeownership may not be related to driving, they are linked to risk and thus are commonly used.
“They are all very good predictors of whether or not a person is going to be in an accident,” said Lynch. “Are insurance companies supposed to ignore information that’s staring them in the face?”
Lynch also criticized the report for its small sample size of 280 drivers.
Christine Tasher, a spokesperson for GEICO, said that the company’s prices are based on “actuarially justified costs.”
“We work hard to provide low rates and savings to all consumers,” she added.
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