The insurance industry has been noticeably quiet about its use of insurance scoring over the past few years. And its silence has raised the ire of consumers and agents who suspect insurers are using the arcane methodology to sneak around state laws that prohibit them from discriminating against minorities and people with lower incomes.In November, several people filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court, Western District of Texas, San Antonio Division, against Allstate Insurance Co., accusing the carrier of using credit scoring to replace geographic redlining, which was forbidden years ago.

Attorney Christa Collins says her firm-James, Hoyer, Newcomer & Smilijanich, in Tampa, Fla.-has statistical evidence showing Allstate's insurance scores are discriminatory, including a clear distinction of their impact on minorities as compared with Caucasians from the same agency.

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