A response to an awful article

Here is a link to a terribly written article; http://boingboing.net/2013/01/29/american-insurers-charge-reckl.html

Like most garbage there is a “catchy” headline and zero to no substance behind it.  This article tries to study insurance rates and say that “rich” people get better rates.  Now although I am not a scientist I know that when running an experiment you must keep as many factors equal as possible.  This “experiment” did not.  The facts;

Using two hypothetical characters the group compared premiums offered to two 30-year-old women. Both had driven for 10 years, lived on the same street in a middle-income Zip code and both wanted the minimum insurance required by whichever state the group was researching.****Using the minimum insurance required already screws up this experiment.  Having the lowest coverage required makes you look irresponsible*****

The imaginary woman who wasn’t married, rented a home, didn’t have coverage for 45 days but has never been in an accident or ticketed with a moving violation was compared to a married executive with a master’s degree who owns her home and has always had continuous insurance coverage. But she’d been in an accident (again, hypothetically) that was her fault and caused $800 in damage within the last three years.*****Having a lapse in coverage, regardless of circumstances, has a massive impact on a rate.  Also an $800 accident may have minimal impact since it is below a surchargeable amount.  Also, when in the last three years was it?  You are also comparing married to not married.  Well if someone is in a relationship the spouse/partner will need to be listed.

The results were somewhat surprising, although there were differences across the five insurers. Farmers, GEICO and Progressive always gave a higher quote to the safer driver than the woman who’d caused an accident. Across all 12 cities in the study, State Farm offered the lowest or second lowest premiums.  ****Useless paragraph sorry you wasted time reading it****

“State insurance regulators should require auto insurers to explain why they believe factors such as education and income are better predictors of losses than are at-fault accidents,” said J. Robert Hunter, CFA’s director of insurance and former Texas insurance ****STOP, how about consumers find out how to get better rates rather than worrying about factors they may not have much control over?****


  1. There are more factors that go into a rate then I can count.
  2. Income NEVER comes up when doing a quote
  3. Married/relationship factors in as well
  4. An educated consumer can do better than a consumer with a degree
  5. “rich”(whatever that means) and “poor” people can both have the same credit score