ROCHESTER, N.Y. – A study by the Consumer Federation of America shows that New Yorkers with low credit scores pay more for their car insurance, even when they have clean driving records. The study found that those with bad credit scores pay on average $1,367 more than those with excellent credit.
And the situation is worse for those with bad credit scores who live in predominantly Black neighborhoods. Those folks pay on average $3,411 more. Insurers say the practice is justified.
“Over the years, studies have demonstrated that drivers with lower credit-based insurance scores have higher losses and those with higher credit-based insurance scores have lower losses,” Jeffery Brewer, vice president for public affairs at the American Property Casualty Insurance Association told Consumer Reports. And he says a driver’s zip code can indicate a higher risk for accidents and theft as well.
Assembly majority leader Crystal Peoples-Stokes says that’s garbage. She’s sponsoring a bill that would ban insurance companies from this practice. She says while she’s not poor, she does live in a zip code that is charged higher rates and people should not be punished with higher rates just because where they live.
Credit-based insurance scores have been used by insurers for nearly 30 years. So the Consumer Federation of America got quotes for every zip code in New York from ten insurance companies that represent 80% of the market.
Get this- the federation found that people with excellent credit and a DWI conviction pay hundreds of dollars less than someone with poor credit and a completely clean driving record. Only four states — California, Hawaii, Massachusetts and Michigan do not allow auto insurers to use credit-based insurance scores. Unless and until the New York legislature passes legislation making the practice illegal, it benefits you greatly to take