Illinois bill would make discriminatory pricing illegal

With car insurance premiums continuing to rise, an Illinois coalition is calling for the state to ban discriminatory pricing.

Insurers currently use non-driving factors such as your education, occupation, zip code, and even credit score to set your rate.

It is a practice that, critics say, generally results in higher premiums for those least likely to afford them — poor and minority drivers.

Chicago-area state Representative Will Guzzardi says he was made aware of the problem after a constituent complained of a 20 percent insurance rate hike, after they legally changed their gender.

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“This is not about safe driving, this is about people of higher means being charged less and poor folks being charged more. Credit should not be what sets your car insurance rate, it should be about safety,” Guzzardi said.

Legislation being introduced in the House and Senate chambers would make discriminatory pricing illegal and require insurance companies to undergo the same rate hike oversight that utility companies are subjected to.

Last year, insurance companies raised rates in Illinois by more than one-billion dollars.

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