TRENTON – Senator Shirley K. Turner, D-Mercer, a member of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee, issued the following statement regarding the Senate hearing today on the Department of Banking and Insurance (DOBI) budget for FY 2006, and the ongoing discussion of the double standards imposed by credit scoring and insurance mapping in the State’s auto insurance industry:
“Today’s hearing illustrated that the State must take a close look at the effects, intentional and unintentional, of credit scoring and insurance mapping. It is my strong concern that the chilling effects, especially in urban areas and among the State’s drivers with less than stellar credit ratings, far outweigh any benefits of allowing these practices to take place.
“That a driver with a clean record might be discriminated against by an insurance company based on where they live and an intangible credit scoring, I find that particularly troublesome.
“I know that both practices are intended to bring about positive deregulation within the State’s auto insurance market, but I am concerned that the combined effects create a disparity which penalizes drivers in lower income brackets, younger drivers who are trying to establish credit history, and those who currently live in, and cannot afford to leave, one of the State’s urban centers.
“I will ask the Department to reexamine the effectiveness of credit scoring and insurance mapping, and weigh both the positive and negative effects of both practices. We cannot condone giveaways for the insurance industry, when they are done on the backs of our urban and younger drivers.”