Although nearly half of the states have passed laws allowing insurance companies to use credit-based insurance scores to assess and price risk-albeit with some restrictions-a new study reveals that the practice disproportionately harms low-income and minority policyholders."There was a tremendous demand to know what happened to low-income folks and protected classes like minorities when you use credit scoring," says Randy McConnell, communications director for the Missouri Department of Insurance (MDI), which conducted the study. "It struck people as disingenuous whenever the credit-scoring vendors were saying, 'There's no relationship between credit scoring and income.'"

In fact, supporters of credit-based insurance scores cite two studies when making this claim:

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