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Black drivers pay hundreds of dollars more for mandatory car insurance than whites: report

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Black Americans pay higher auto insurance rates than white drivers, according to a report by 4AutoInsuranceQuote.com.

“According to the latest research, safe drivers in a black neighborhood will pay much more for auto insurance than a safe driver in a white neighborhood will,” according to the report. ” To be precise, if your neighborhood is 75% black (or higher), you can expect to pay 70% more for auto insurance. According to the study, the fictional white girl would supposedly pay just $622 annually for auto insurance. The fictional black girl would pay $1,060 annually.”

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Men are also affected.

“According to the survey results, black men in New York City paid $2910 on average for auto insurance,” according to the site. “White men in New York City paid $2193 on average for auto insurance. In other words, black men have to pay more than $700 more than white men for the same auto insurance coverage.”

The striking results paint a partial picture of how racial disparities directly hit the pocketbooks of black drivers. The data is based on a study by the Consumer Federation of America, which found that overall, black motorists pay on average 70 percent more for mandatory insurance.

According to CFA, “For the past several years, CFA has studied the challenges faced by low- and moderate-income Americans who need their car but face expensive mandatory auto insurance premiums.”

CFA research shows that generally, insurance rates are ratcheted up for people less likely to be able to afford them — but the new study controlled for socio-economic status and population density, African-Americans pay higher premiums for liability-only policies.

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The difference in premiums for some areas were more extreme than others. A report by the Dallas Morning News notes that drivers in the Baltimore-Townson’s predominantly black neighborhoods paid a whopping 94 percent higher than people in ZIP codes with mostly white residents.

“Not only did black people pay the most for car insurance, they paid the most by a landslide,” according to 4AutoInsuranceQuote. “It was something that really concerned us… It’s something that should concern all Americans.”

Here are some disturbing findings from the study:

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  • In the densest urban centers, the average premium in predominantly African American ZIP codes is 60 percent higher than the average premium in equally dense predominantly white urban ZIP codes ($1,797 vs. $1,126).
  • In rural ZIP codes, the average premium in predominantly African American ZIP codes is 24 percent more than the average premium in rural, predominantly white ZIP codes ($669 vs. $542).
  • The average premium in upper middle income, predominantly African American ZIP codes is 194 percent higher than the average premium charged to a similarly situated driver in an upper middle income, predominantly white ZIP code ($2,113 vs. $717).
  • Across the country, Progressive’s and Farmers Insurance’s good driver premiums show the most disparity between predominantly African American and predominantly white ZIP codes, with both companies averaging 92 percent.
  • State Farm, Allstate and GEICO also charge substantially more—62, 56, and 52 percent respectively.
  • In several metropolitan regions around the country, including Baltimore, New York, Louisville, Washington, Detroit, Boston, and Orlando, the disparity of premiums is more than 50 percent between predominantly African American and predominantly white ZIP codes.

The group is calling on lawmakers to investigate the relationship between auto insurance rates and race.

“In addition to mandating the purchase of auto insurance, virtually every state has laws forbidding unfair discrimination,” CFA’s director of insurance,  J. Robert Hunter, said. “The pricing disparities for state mandated minimum auto insurance coverage quoted to drivers in primarily African American communities are hard to fathom actuarially and look a lot like unfair discrimination.”

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