Yesterday I came across a startling report via personal finance guru, Jean Chatzky, talking about how education level and your employment status can factor into how much you will pay for auto insurance. Oftentimes, those with less education and “blue collar” jobs are paying more in insurance rates than others.
The report noted that “GEICO often charges a factory worker with a high school degree far higher annual premiums than a plant supervisor with a college degree – 45% more in Seattle ($870 vs. $599), 40% more in Hartford ($1299 vs. $926), 33% more in Oakland ($922 vs. $693), 23% more in Louisville ($2200 vs. $1791), 21% more in Chicago ($1013 vs. $840), and 20% more in Baltimore ($1971 vs. $1647).” (a perfect driving record were taken into account in each scenario).
Pretty startling. But, the insurance companies are in the business of predicting who will be a liability to them and judging risk. Could it be they are assuming those who attend college or graduate school OR hold a higher position on the organization chart are more responsible and careful drivers than those who opted out of college or are holding lower-level positions? On the other hand, one might think the person lower on the totem pole (so to speak) would be driving a less-valued automobile than the person higher on the pole. Again, another assumption.
It's interesting to note the worst offenders of these biased practices:
- Liberty Mutual
And those who don't take education or career levels into account when factoring premiums:
- State Farm
It's certainly an unsettling issue and I'd be interested to hear your take on this. Is it wrong for insurance providers to be making such assumptions/or discriminations? And, would you think twice about doing business with those who practice biased-based pricing?