Oregon voters will face a ballot measure this November worth serious consideration.
Measure 42 would stop insurance companies from using credit scores to determine insurance rates. The practice makes, for example, car insurance unaffordable for many low-income drivers. Insurance companies claim that people with low credit scores make more claims or are prone to more accidents. Consumer Reports and others have challenged that assumption.
When they endorsed Measure 42 Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon said:
The EMO Board believes the use of credit scores in insurance policies does disproportionately impact low-income communities and communities of color regardless if its use is not intentionally discriminatory. Access to affordable insurance policies is important to individual and family livelihood. Higher premium rates or lack of coverage leave vulnerable populations at greater risk than necessary. The role of insurance is to help spread risk so that the greatest number of people can enjoy certain benefits like homeownership and automobile transportation. Banning the use of credit scores would not be a hardship for insurance companies nor would it prevent them from accurately assessing risk using other factors.
The only bad part of this measure is the force behind it. Bill Sizemore is the chief sponsor. Oregonians know Sizemore as an anti-tax activist whose campaign tactics have led to criminal charges and fines. Some people might be tempted to vote against Measure 42 simply because of Sizemore’s involvement (and that is the campaign message the insurance companies are betting on). But even really unethical people can every once and awhile come up with a good idea.
Hold your nose and vote Yes on 42.