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Consumer advocates find bias in New York auto insurance rates

Consumers with non-professional jobs are often charged hundreds of dollars more compared to college-educated professionals for the same policies.
Consumers with non-professional jobs are often charged hundreds of dollars more compared to college-educated professionals for the same policies.
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The New York Public Interest Group (NYPIRG) has asked the state’s Department of Financial Services to investigate auto insurers’ premium policies after uncovering major bias against blue-collar workers and consumers with lower levels of education. According to the group, which used online rate quotes from several companies, including Progressive, Liberty Mutual and Geico, car owners with “only high school education and non-professional jobs were being charged hundreds of dollars more for the exact same policies compared to college-educated professionals” regardless of their driving records.

“We believe that this practice is highly discriminatory and unfair to minorities and low income workers, and are asking the Department of Finance to see if these rate making policies are even legal,” stated consumer advocate Andy Morrison who worked on the report for NYPIRG.

Note: NY Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG) is one of several non-profit organizations throughout the country founded in 1973, based on a model proposed in the book Action for a Change by Ralph Nader and Donald Ross to utilize students as part of a “ grassroots organizing, direct advocacy, investigative journalism, and litigation to affect public.” In fact, Ross, himself, not only helped students set up the first PIRG chapters on college campuses across the country, he was also the first director of the New York Chapter.