PRINCETON, N.J., March 3, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- On March 4, Eric Poe, Chief Operating Officer of CURE Auto Insurance, a full-service provider of auto insurance licensed in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, takes his crusade to end discriminatory practices in auto insurance rates to Washington DC. On Wednesday, Poe will testify to the importance of enacting the Prohibit Auto Insurance Income Discrimination (PAID) Act across every state ? legislation that would ban the use of non-driving factors like credit score, occupation, and education when setting rates. It has been more than 15 years since Poe uncovered that some of the largest and most well-known insurance companies, like GEICO and Progressive, were using factors that were strong predictors of income ? "income proxies" ? like education level and occupation, to determine eligibility; and were ultimately charging higher rates for those drivers that the income proxies would indicate have lower incomes, regardless of whether they have identical driving records. Since that time, Poe has not only made it CURE's mission to insure drivers based on their driving record but to also educate the public and elected officials of this injustice.
"At some point in time, we've all asked the question ... 'Am I paying too much for car insurance?' For many lower income individuals ? those with less education and low-paying occupations ? the answer is a resounding 'yes.' However, the reason why may not be what you think," explains Poe. "Through the use of income proxies, such as occupation, level of education, credit score and home ownership, the car insurance industry has built their business models to attract and provide the best rates only to the higher income drivers, regardless of their driving record, simply because they produce the highest profits."
For example, since New Jersey first allowed the consideration of credit scores, education and occupation in determining car insurance rates in 2003, there has been a 90+% increase in the number of drivers who cannot afford car insurance. The uninsured motorist rate in New Jersey are now almost 15%, or over 1,000,000 vehicles, and the use of income proxies, combined with the elimination of several key laws created to help inner cities insurance rates, have slowly made insurance unaffordable to those of lower income.
Just how bad is it? Would you believe that a doctor with a DUI could pay less for car insurance than a waitress with a high school diploma and clean driving record? Recently, InvestigateTV ran various auto insurance quote scenarios through GEICO's website. They used the same vehicle make and model and the same address for each. The only variables that they changed were driving history, education level, and occupation. For one quote, they created a female doctor with a DUI conviction. For another, they used the same person but made her a waitress with a high school degree and a clean driving record. The result? The doctor with the DUI had a lower rate. In fact, in every scenario they ran, the doctor with the DUI had the lower rate.
"Over the past 16 years, I have made a commitment to exposing such practices to the public and showing how the country's largest car insurance companies have been using income proxies as the basis for determining one's rate," says Poe. "I applaud New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo in taking steps to protect New Yorkers from unfairly discriminatory auto insurance rates." Poe believes that the definitive action taken by New York is a strong first step.
Eric Poe serves as chief operator officer for CURE Auto Insurance, a full service provider of auto insurance in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. As a licensed active New Jersey attorney and certified public accountant, Mr. Poe is a recognized commentator in the insurance field, testifying before the United States House of Representatives Financial Services Committee in Washington D.C. in 2008, the New Jersey Senate and Assembly, the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation, the New Hampshire Legislature as well as before the National Coalition of Insurance Commissioners. He has also appeared nationally on CNBC, Fox Business News, and regionally on ABC, CBS, NBC and WPHL as an authority in the field of insurance. For more information, visit http://www.unfaircarinsurance.org/ or https://www.cure.com/default.aspx.
SOURCE CURE Auto Insurance
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