Illinois Secretary of State Alexi Giannolia targets car insurance rate discrimination

Finally, someone is hiring the insurance companies.

Illinois Secretary of State Alexi Gianolias has drafted a bill that would base car insurance rates on driving records and not socioeconomic factors that could discriminate against consumers.

Under current state law, insurance companies can use data from sources like social media to charge higher insurance premiums based on race, ethnic origin, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status or disability.

In Illinois, 70-year-old drivers pay an average of 12% more than 60-year-old drivers, while 75-year-old drivers pay 25% more for a full coverage policy.

Although a 2020 report from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that “older adults are more likely than other age groups to engage in safe driving behaviors.”

At 74, I probably pay more for car insurance than my grown children and they pay more for car insurance because they have young drivers in their families.

In 2019, Chicago Sun-Times reporter Stephanie Zimmerman found that “renting instead of owning a home or working an unskilled job means paying $117 to $175 a year for car insurance. Living in the ‘wrong’ ZIP code can mean an extra $175.”

It always struck me as unfair that insurance companies could consider factors other than my driving record when charging me for something I legally had to purchase. I wonder how insurance companies get away with accepted discrimination.

“This perpetuates inequalities based on race and income that were created by unequal decisions decades ago,” Brent Adams, senior vice president for policy and communications at the Woodstock Institute, told the Sun-Times. Down in many ways.”

The discriminatory practice of overcharging for car insurance based on socio-economic factors may also explain why some people drive without car insurance.

As such, “US drivers are paying an average of $2,543 annually for car insurance, or $212 per month, up 26% from last year,” according to a report by Bankrate, a personal financial management company.

The Giannoulias Act is intended to prevent insurance companies from using consumer information such as credit scores, zip codes, home ownership status, purchasing habits and education levels to unfairly determine rates.

“The purpose of auto insurance is to protect motorists while they drive; therefore, a person’s driving record should serve as the primary factor to be analyzed when pricing,” Giannoulias said in a news release.

“This emphasis on socioeconomic factors is patently unfair and discriminatory, leading to underachievement and underachievement, particularly from disadvantaged neighborhoods and communities of color,” he said.

The proposed legislation is sponsored by state Rep. Thaddeus Jones, D-Calumet City, and state Rep. Napoleon Harris III, D-Harvey.

“All motorists should have the opportunity to get affordable insurance,” Harris said. “There is no place for discrimination in our state or our country, especially in the insurance industry.”

“Completely irrelevant factors such as whether you own a home or where that home is located should not hinder your ability to secure insurance and drive,” Jones said, adding that the proposal “provides an opportunity to make Illinois roads more equitable while keeping them safe.”

We can only hope that this kind of discrimination will soon become a thing of the past. But it can’t happen without you.

I have received many complaints from readers about this topic, especially as it relates to age. If you support the plan, let your representative know.

It’s never too late for a change.

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