COVID-19 has exacerbated socioeconomic inequality and exposed vast racial and economic disparities in America. Millions have lost their jobs, and research shows that historically under-resourced communities have been hit especially hard both by the virus itself and the economic fallout.

Executive Summary

"It is our responsibility to customers to do all we can to eliminate bias from the processes, models and systems we use to price insurance products," writes Alex Timm, CEO of Root Insurance. In October last year, Carrier Management asked P/C carrier executives to tell us what issues they care about and how their companies and others can work to right social wrongs. Here, Root's CEO answers the call, describing his company's commitment to eliminate a rating factor that exacerbates inequality in auto insurance—credit scores—and invites others to join him.

The auto insurance industry has an opportunity to help those communities recover and eliminate a longstanding source of bias. We believe the time is right to take steps to create meaningful change.

Currently, the industry relies heavily on credit scores and other demographic factors to determine insurance risk, with over 90 percent of U.S. auto insurers using it to price policies. And yet, demographics and credit do not cause increased risk, even if they may be correlated. Under this system, those with lower credit scores are often forced to pay more, even if they are the safest drivers on the road. This means drivers with poor credit can pay $1,500 more on average than those with good credit, according to data from The Zebra.

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