Illinois Senators Vow To Fight Discrimination In Car-Insurance Pricing

Apr 17, 2017

Two Illinois State Senators are pushing to fight what they say is discrimination in car-insurance pricing.

Credit Jessie Schlacks / WNIJ

The effort follows an investigation by Consumer Reports and ProPublica that found people in minority neighborhoods pay up to 30 percent more than drivers in white areas, even when they have the same accident risk.

Tanya Watkins is with the Chicago activist group SOUL — Southsiders Organized for Unity and Liberation.

“Families in low-income communities need that 30 percent to put food on the table," she said. "They don’t need to give it to an insurance company as an additional tax for being poor and black.”

Watkins spoke at a news conference in support of legislation to prohibit discrimination by zip codes. That’s being added to a bill that would bar insurers from using credit scores to set rates.

But the Illinois Insurance Association says more drivers get lower rates because of credit scores than the other way around, and that discrimination based on address, race and other factors already is
prohibited.