An article in the local fish wrapper decries the fact that insurance companies use ZIP codes as part of determining the premium for auto insurance.
The analysis, released Monday, found that good drivers in lower-income areas are charged $410 more on average than good drivers in higher-income areas — and Tampa is no exception.
According to the analysis, there is an 18 percent difference on average in auto premiums for Tampa drivers depending on the average income of an area.
The issuer of the report, the Consumer Federation Of America, is worried that lower income folks are being penalized for where they live.
Of course, there’s very good reason why those ZIP codes may cause higher premiums – crime. Auto theft and vandalism are more prevalent in those areas than in others. That would put those areas in a higher risk of having to pay out a claim. Higher risks require higher premiums. Does it suck that a good driver has to pay more when (s)he did nothing more than live in a bad area? Yes. It would suck even more if they couldn’t obtain car insurance because some politician listed to the Consumer Federation Of America and forced the insurance companies to charge premiums below the risk.