The original story, which compared Allstate's claims data against the revised zodiac calendar, offered fun insights into which drivers (based on their astological signs) were the best and worst drivers. Despite being originally intended as a study for “entertainment purposes only,” readers had an adverse reaction to the news.
Reader backlash was evident in the comments sections at a variety of news outlets covering the story, including INN, the Chicago Tribune and blogs, such as iowntheworld.com. Some readers mistakenly took the story to mean that Allstate was basing their rates on the findings, and may adjust prices based on their astrological signs.
Allstate has since issued a statement to the public, and has removed the study from its online newsroom.
The insurer released the following statement:
“We recently issued a press release on Zodiac signs and accident rates, which led to some confusion around whether astrological signs are part of the underwriting process.
"Astrological signs have absolutely no role in how we base coverage and set rates. Rating by astrology would not be actuarially sound. We realize that our hard-working customers view their insurance expense very seriously. So do we.
"We deeply apologize for any confusion this may have caused.”
To read the original story posted on INN, click here.
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Corrected January 31, 2011 at 11:08AM: yes