The whole point of insurance is to provide protection or compensation against loss, damage, illness, and death, meaning you pay a premium to a company to take on and manage your risks. How much you pay depends on a variety of factors, and even the smallest factor can make a huge difference in premiums paid. Well, with some companies.
Does race play a factor in insurance? The unfortunate answer is yes, it can absolutely play a factor when it comes to determining insurance policies, premiums, and payouts — though many insurance companies will tell you otherwise.
At Bequest, while we don’t know everything, we know that your postcode shouldn’t affect the amount you pay each month for life insurance. ✌️ Everyone should have equal opportunity to get life insurance, no matter who they are and where they live.
However, the insurance industry is full of discrimination — it’s essentially what the whole industry is based on. And this is not an easy thing to change.
They determine the risk of insuring you and charge accordingly. In the past, insurance companies used actuaries, who determine insurance risk and premiums by compiling and analysing statistics. With the invention of artificial intelligence, actuaries are slowly getting replaced by computers. Some companies are harnessing the power of AI in combination with actuarial science to help try and remove human bias.
Auto Insurance 🚗
The most common factors that go into determining the premiums you pay for auto insurance include:
- the year and model of car you drive
- the colour of your car
- where you live/postcode
- your age and gender
- your driving record
- the type of coverage you want
According to a study done by Webber Phillips, car owners that live in an area with a high number of ethnic minority households are often charged a higher premium, regardless of any other factor. In some areas of the country, they were found to be up to £450 more than the national average! The most fascinating piece of information found was that this ‘ethnic penalty’ existed in both areas of affluence as well as poorer areas.
Home Insurance 🏠
There have been several studies done to see if there are any sort of racial disparities in the home insurance sector, and the information is fairly inconclusive. However, ethnic minority groups are more likely to either be offered less coverage or to pay more for the same coverage when compared to white home insurance policy holders. And yes, the location of your home is also a factor.
Insurance companies typically keep their policy sales and claims data very secure, which makes it difficult for anyone to prove any sort of differential treatment. There is room for a lot of bias when it comes to assessing credibility of a claim through things like home visits and face-to-face conversations.
Life Insurance ⚕️
The same discrimination that exists in the auto and insurance industries can also exist when it comes to life insurance.
There has been postcode discrimination in this industry for so long. Basically, based on where you live, if it’s a high-crime area or not as wealthy, you pay more for life insurance. We have taken this discriminatory clause out of our policies because we don’t believe that you should be ‘penalised’ or ‘rewarded’ for where you live. 🏠
At Bequest, we believe everyone has the right to life insurance. We make it incredibly easy to sign up for because everyone needs to protect their loved ones. That’s why we don’t have any sort of postcode bias and we don’t require a medical check up. Our platform is fully autonomous (with help as needed) so everyone can get covered in the comfort of their own home and update your policy as life changes. 💛