U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib introduced legislation that would make it illegal for auto insurance companies to use consumers' credit scores in calculating insurance rates.
Critics consider the controversial practice a form of economic redlining, and the Detroit Democrat said it punishes people for being poor. Regardless, it's part of the reason Detroit sees some of the nation's highest auto insurance rates.
"Historically marginalized populations have already had less access to wealth and credit building opportunities, and the continued use of credit histories to set auto insurance pricing compounds racial discrimination and exacerbates wealth inequality,” Tlaib said in a letter to colleagues seeking support.
The legislation, which was co-sponsored by 25 Democrats, comes after a proposal floated by Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan and the state GOP twice died for lack of support. Unlike Tlaib's bill, it wouldn't have addressed insurers' use of credit scores.
Politico reports that auto insurance companies don't expect the bill to become law, but it's possible that the proposal could be slipped in as an amendment to a larger bill overhauling the nation's credit rating system.
If approved, the bill likely would provide relief to Detroiters, whose average credit scores are among the lowest in the nation.
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