Would higher car insurance rates be worth reducing possible discrimination?


Oregon allows insurers to use credit history, gender, marital status, education, profession, employment status and more to determine how much to charge for car insurance.

Are those things directly linked to how well you drive? No.

Do they help insurers gauge how much risk a driver may pose? Insurers believe so.

Two bills earlier this year proposed to strip insurers from being able to use those factors to set premiums. Instead, insurers would have to focus on driving record, miles driven and years of driving experience. Apparently the idea is going to be revived in a bill for the short 2022 session.

Is it the right thing to do? It’s not simple.

Gov. Kate Brown and Oregon’s Department of Consumer and Business Services backed those bills. Much of the department’s argument focused on credit scores. A low credit score can even mean a person pays more for insurance even if their driving record is clean. There’s also concern that using credit scores can be discriminatory.

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