Activists Charge Insurers with `Redlining' Poor Areas

By Keith Henderson, writer of The Christian Science Monitor | The Christian Science Monitor, March 30, 1993 | Go to article overview

Activists Charge Insurers with `Redlining' Poor Areas


Keith Henderson, writer of The Christian Science Monitor, The Christian Science Monitor


BANKS have been intensely scrutinized by regulators, civil rights groups, and community organizations concerned about redlining - the denial of mortgages and other services to people in areas considered deteriorating or risky. Typically, those people are nonwhite, low-income, and urban dwellers.

Now the same charges are being made against insurance companies. Hearings have been held in Congress on the subject. One nationwide group, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN), recently released studies purporting to show discriminatory practices by insurance companies in 14 cities in the United States.

Those who make the charges say the evidence shows a calculated effort by companies to avoid doing business in urban neighborhoods, a tactic outlawed in most states. Industry spokespeople spurn the "evidence" as flawed and say their decisions on whom to insure are based on legitimate business practices.

ACORN staff members in various cities randomly surveyed agents to see if they could get price quotes over the phone on homeowner's insurance for properties in various neighborhoods and towns. They claim to have found consistent reluctance to deal with people from poorer areas: Callers inquiring about insurance for homes in those communities were refused a quote 38 percent of the time, while those from wealthier towns were turned down 7 percent of the time, according to ACORN.

Willy Walton participated in an ACORN phone survey of agents in the Boston area, which was done separately from the 14-city national study. He says that calls about coverage in low-income neighborhoods, like the Dorchester section of Boston, met with a barrage of questions about ZIP codes, de-leading certificates, and the state of the dwelling's wiring. Most agents said they would have to see the house, Mr. Walton said. By contrast, callers asking about homes in the affluent suburb of Lexington usually were given a quote, with few questions asked.

Such surveys say little about access to homeowner's insurance, says Marc Rosenberg, vice president of the Insurance Information Institute, which represents the industry in Washington. There's no correlation between the inability to get a price quote on the phone and the ability to actually buy insurance, he says, adding that other data have shown that roughly 93 percent of all US homeowners have coverage. Further, Mr. Rosenberg says, many agents are told not to give quotes on the phone.

Then why did so many callers claiming to be from wealthier areas get quotes, asks Gregory Squires, a sociology professor from the University of Wisconsin. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Activists Charge Insurers with `Redlining' Poor Areas
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.