Car insurance Credit Check?

Penned Well..I think I have heard it all now. A credit check in order to obtain car insurance. How nice. Not only do car insurance companies ask for your social security number, which they have no right to do or use for, but now they are going to use it to check your credit rating to find out if they can give you insurance. Does anyone else see how wrong this is?

First of all, car insurance is mandatory in all 50 states in order for your drivers license to remain valid. Second of all, any time something is made mandatory (in order to drive legally) that should automatically say that you have to obtain the insurance with whatever means you have. Now, the insurance industry is somehow creating their own rules, and unfairly demanding that you Qualify for something that was REQUIRED of you by the state government. WAY WAY WRONG!

Lets take a look at a scenario. First..State law requires you to have insurance to help protect you and others from serious financial debt due to an involvement in an accident. It is an attempt to rid the streets of uninsured motorists. Yes, it makes insurance companies rich that the state has made it a requirement. Now..Lets look at Joe Public. He has insurance, and his credit is smudged pretty good due to a divorce and a death in the family that he burdened financially. His Insurance policy is up for the year, and he decides not to renew because the rates are too high, and goes shopping for new insurance companies. He finds a good rate and applies. The insurance company sadly informs Joe Public (something he already knew), that his credit is pretty bad and that they cant insure him. He applies at another, “we see here, Mr. Public, that you have a few inquiries on your credit worthiness, which we deem as derogatory information on your history, we can not insure you”. Now Joe is getting really worried. He goes to yet a 3rd company, and experiences even more disdain for his credit profile. Now..Joe has to go to work, and he cant drive to work, because he couldn’t get his insurance, and his license is revoked. With a revoked license, now he cant drive to work to make money to pay his debts or buy insurance. He then loses his job because he cant drive to work with an invalid drivers license because he couldn’t get insurance because he wanted a lower rate but his credit was bad. Now he has to apply for unemployment, but he cant collect that because he can’t drive around looking for work that unemployment requires you do while collecting unemployment. So they stop his payments. Where is this all going you may ask? Well, its obvious Joe Public is going to die in a gutter because he couldn’t get car insurance because he was in debt for things out of his control.

How sad is that? Is this what we are going to allow, for companies to silently create their own rules that work AGAINST state and federal demands and requirements? Its going to take every voice in America to speak out against this outrage in order for it to change. Do you think you will EVER be in this situation? Its very possible, but if you think about it, it only takes ONE thing out of your control, to get that unstoppable ball rolling down hill, and we will never hear from you again.

~Rocket

103 responses to “Car insurance Credit Check?

  1. Talk about an unstoppable ball, I’ll tell you a story of thrifty shopping.. In the days before ATMS and debit cards, I was looking for a good guitar for my son at a less than good guitar price, so stopped into a pawnshop. I found the perfect guitar, at much less than I expected, so brought it to the register. Wrote out my check, gave it to the proprieter, he put it into a machine, and it came back declined. Knowing I had deposited a work check 2 days before, and had done little or no shopping, I was surprised, and asked why is it declined? Well, the check company they used didnt check account balances, it ran a credit check… a credit check to see if I was able to purchase an item with what I considered the ‘same as cash.’
    I wonder how many places do this?
    Things that make you go hmmmmm…

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  3. Thank you for your comment Angel. I would never do business with a company that does not inform you that any purchase of their products, other than with cash, is preceded with a credit check. The number of credit inquires is deemed as “negative” credit worthiness. This funnels activity into a cash only basis and any company that deliberately funnels activity into a cash only basis is [in my opinion] a shady act of doing business. Cash is untraceable and a business that prefers untraceable transactions has an agenda. Good post Angel.

  4. Let’s think about this insurance scam in another way and I refer to this as a scam because that is exactly what it is !!!! Let’s say that Joe public who you described did have all the things you mentioned happen to him and then there’s Joe public Wealthy who has an impeccable credit ratting and is paying next to nothing for his insurance where as Poor Joe public will pay twice or maybe 3 times as much or more as Wealthy Joe Public does for his, but Wealthy Joe public is not a good driver like Poor Joe Public is but his rates do no go up because the insurance Co. knows that Wealthy Joe Public is going to pay his Monthly premiums because he can afford to do so all the while Poor Joe Public has never had a accident but can not afford the rates as you stated because his credit worthyness doesn’t allow for him to have insurance which will eventually happen to the majority of America because the Insurance industry is always looking out for there bottom line regardless of a persons credit rating. I did a job for a Insurance Co. a few years ago when this idea of adjusting people’s insurance ratings based on individuals credit score and I had a discussion with the VP of this Insurance Co. about how it would work for people like Poor Joe public and If I remember right he made the statement that Poor Joe public is a higher risk because of his yearly earnings VS Wealthy Joe Public because as The VP said in not so many words that the more money you have and the better job you have will ensure the Insurance Co. bottom line always keep them in the black. He wasn’t woried about people who had a good credit score but may have had a poor driving record because based on a individuals credit worrthiness they will pay any amount because they pay there bills, Go figure !!!! Here’s what I know baed on people I have dealt with in my life is that the majority of people I have known for the most part are responible drivers except for kids in there teens and early 20′s as some of us know all to well what insurance cost when we get a few tickets for things we don’t care to remember. But I know that most adults who are in there mid to late 30′s and older do become responsible in there driving because if they do not have a liscense to drive they don’t have a car, and if they dont have a car they don’t have a JOB !!! For the Insurance Industry to get away with this new system of doing bussiness and basically giving themselves insurance for there own bottom line is in plain english WRONG !!!! What if we a general contractors who do work or are planing to do work for a Insurance Co. told them we are charging you this much for this work you want to have done in your office building which is more than Joe homeowner would be charged because Joe Insurance can afford it and Joe home owner can’t therefore you wil pay more for that new window to help subidize Joe homeowner who can not. If the later were to happen you would have one big uproar from the Insurance Industry over this price fixing as they would probably call it because they have the resource’s and would eventually have our way of doing bussiness with them overturned because in there eye’s it would be unfair bussiness practice. But for us the average Joe American we do not have all the resource’s Co. like the Insurance Industry has or the Auto Industry has or even the Teachers Union has, which the Teachers union is a whole other topic of it’s own, but with out the power and having friends in higher places like the white house or on Capitol hill will get you nothing and that’s what the Insurance Industry has that we don’t.

  5. Thank you for your comment, Hubby of my best friend.

    There are definitely thought provoking ideas in your comment. I have to agree that it seems insurance companies are looking out for their bottom line aka profit margin in using this new concept of doing credit checks on the consumer to qualify them for insurance.

    If I were a car insurance company I would have to look at the following data:

    1. Wealthier people drive more expensive cars
    2. More expensive cars require higher rates to insure them because of repair costs.
    3. Expensive cars needing repairs due to an accident, carry a much higher cost for repairs thereby justifying higher premiums to cover those costs.
    4. Low income consumers typically do not drive expensive cars
    5. Inexpensive cars owned by low income individuals typically get “totaled out”, or require far lower costs to repair them.
    6. Low income individuals are a higher risk for non-payment of premiums
    7. Low income consumers carry a higher risk of not being insured at all making recovery of damages impossible from an uninsured motorist.
    8. Low income bracket generally has more credit problems than middle or upper income consumers, justifying the use of a credit check to give the insurance company a far better “target market” that insures a better profit margin for the insurance company.

    Insurance companies (auto/home etc) are in the business of making money, not paying out claims. Therefore, any insurance company that uses a credit check to qualify your insurability instead of basing on a track record of incidents, is NOT looking out for your best interests, but rather looking out for their own profit margin.

    The old way for an insurance company to make a profit was to use the premiums from those that have never filed a claim or filed fewer claims to pay for the claims that are filed, and then derive a profit from that equation.

    With new ideas and innovations in the way bean counters crunch numbers, the insurance companies found a high profit margin coming from high income consumers who rarely filed a claim and a way to cut costs and reduce labor by eliminating as much as possible, the low income bracket consumers from their list of insured. Fewer claims require less manpower and less paperwork, thereby fewer employees and a cost savings is born.

    This type of cost savings and higher profit margins spread like wildfire throughout the industry and no checks and balances are in place to protect the consumer against it.

  6. very interesting, but I don’t agree with you
    Idetrorce

  7. my insurance policy expires in Jan. so i thought i would shop around since the company i’m with has continued to raise my rates for the last 4 yrs(very slightly), they told me it was actually droping but due to inflation and the cost of living the monthly amount was going up slightly. i got online this morning and got several quotes,1 of which would save us 45 bucks a month. wow! i was all for that. they sent me an email with the quoted amount then a hyper link to the quote. i clicked it and it was 200 more for 6 months than the first amount. i decided to call and talk to somone to ask why. so i had to give them all my info again plus this time give them my social security #. she came back with a rate that was 400 bucks more then the first quote they gave me. i asked why. she told me based on your combined credit scores! we have poor credit of late due to our premature sons birth and medical issues. this kind of scoring is wrong. what happens when i fail to pay my monthly installment one month(they cancel you) what does my credit have to do with any service there offering me? nothing. i pay for my insurance a month in advance and insurance companies are not offering you any service on credit!

  8. Thank you for your comment, Homebrew13. Unfortunately you are among many,many people in the US with the same situation which is what prompted me to write this article.

    You have two situations at play here, one is the SSN issue which I cover in another article HERE and the credit issue in relation to car insurance. Neither situation should be acceptable to anyone living in the US, and as such we should all be asking our State and Federal representatives to do something about immediately.

    Not since the Commissioner of Social Security enacted the law in 1935 has there ever been an amendment to it stating that “unauthorized entities are disallowed to ask for or have in their possession, any social security numbers except those who are employed by such entity.”

    The lack of such a clause has allowed the full and unmitigated use of social security numbers throughout the commercial industry (mainly for credit worthiness).

    You are well within your rights to refuse to give your social security number to “anyone” that is not expressly authorized to have your social security number. Unfortunately at this time “Jurisdiction to enforce the social security number provision might appear questionable inasmuch as the Privacy Act does not expressly provide for a civil remedy against a non-federal agency, or for injunctive relief outside of the access and amendment contexts…However, other courts have recognized implied remedies for violations of this provision’s requirements”, according to http://www.usdoj.gov/oip/1974ssnu.htm

    This being the case, you can refuse to give your social security number preventing a company from doing a credit check on you, and if they “compel” you to disclose your number to them through “any means” and they are not an authorized entity, then it is very definitely a felony on their part and you can prosecute, and in turn the company has the right to refuse to do business with you for any reason.

    The public HAS to act, in an organized manner, to put a stop to this long history of SSN abuse. I urge everyone to contact their state a federal representatives and stand on their toes if need be. A squeaky wheel eventually gets oiled.

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  11. (In a thick Russian accent):

    Comrade, your credit is poor so it will cost you extra. Now get back to the herd and pay up or off to the gulag.

    That is pretty much what it is getting like.

  12. hi:

    Isn’t there a way to file a lawsuit against the insurance industry in regards to discriminating – profiling people with poor credit as risks in obtaining auto ins. As far as I know you purchase ins. as long as you pay for it your covered, if not they cancel the policy. Very simple. There are plenty of people with excellent driving records that have credit issues. Purchasing ins. should be based on your driving record not your credit history. If there is anyone who has any contacts in the legal field maybe they can look into it.

    regards

    Carl

  13. Carl, thank you for your comment. If there are any lawsuits filed it should be against any company (including car insurance) who wrongfully gains access to anyone’s social security number. As citizens of America you are not obligated to give your SSN to anyone but your employer or bank and certain “government” institutions or departments. Car insurance companies are using your social security number to acquire your credit records. They are not authorized to have your SSN and your credit should not be a factor.

    However, the bean counters for the insurance companies are paid well to sit down and figure out who the most likely people are to be in accidents, figure out who is the most likely to pay their policy premiums, and who are the most likely to be uninsured and cant recover and damages from. They do this as a cost savings to them, to maximize their profit and reduce their expenses. They do this with your SSN.

    Is it right? not in my eyes. Is it helping anyone but them self? Not in my eyes. Is it causing hardship and in violation of the Privacy act of 1974? Yes.

    Carl, I have to say you would be perfectly in your right to sue anyone who “compels you to disclose your social security number” without having the authority to have it as outlined in one of my other posts on SSN abuse. As for profiling, that’s become a media hype word to imply an importance where none exists. Are they screening potential customers based on a persons credit worthiness? Yes, and its wrong. Is it illegal? No, but what is illegal is the use of a SSN that is not consistent with its designed purpose.

    I’d be happy to sign any class action lawsuits against any insurance company who uses a SSN that is not consistent with its designed purpose.

  14. PICKNICK INSURANCE

    A survey of 1,500 motorists has revealed that while almost two-thirds are beating the credit crunch by using their car less or adjusting their driving style, many are putting their car insurance at risk just to save cash.

  15. Hi,

    It is such a useful article and I found a lot of information with the help of this article. Thank you so much for sharing.

    Stella

  16. Thank you for your comment Pick. I hope this is not going to be a trend among penny pinchers. As you can see in this scenario, there is little or no escape from the downward spiral into severe debt.

    Our country is governed by its people and it is up to the people to be completely informed of what their local, state and federal government is doing, and then taking action by contacting your state representatives (congressmen/women) and even gathering group support through petitions, letters and phone calls to their offices to get them to stop the insanity.

    A congressman has never acted faster than when his job (votes) are on the line.

  17. Thank you for your Comment Stella, I am very glad you found the information helpful/useful.

  18. Hi,
    It is absolutely appalling what’s going on with everything in this country. It is not just auto insurance that is affected by credit checks, I just got my home owners insurance bill due May 30th, 2009, I was floored by what I saw on the bill. My premium has increased by $742 over last year’s premium. When I called my agent to see if it was a mistake, she told me that they ran my credit and the new rate is based on my credit report. Mind you, I pay my insurance in full every year and I never do monthly payments. I’m self employed, and my business has fallen apart, I had to let go my 4 employees and moved the business to my home after 15 years renting office space. I must admit I’m late on all of my business bills since June of last year when the economy really started affecting my business and most of my customers canceled work or are paying slowly. If I don’t get paid I can’t pay my bills, naturally all of this reflects on my personal credit because as a small business owner I sign a lot of personal guarantees, if the business cannot pay its debts they turn to the owners. I am broke, not by any fault of my own, but everywhere I turn I’m being screwed, who do I turn to? WHERE IS MY BAILOUT? Why am I being persecuted?
    -Carlton

  19. Thank you for your comment Carlton, and yes the home owners insurance companies which can also be your car insurance company are doing the same thing.

    Although this seems like a good idea to the insurance companies and other companies who do credit checks (which used to be just banks and credit card companies) as a means to increase their profit after risk analysis of debt ratio’s and credit scores, the only reason that any of this is possible is because no one anywhere is enforcing the law against SSN abuse.

    see http://dragontail.wordpress.com/2007/04/25/social-security-number-abuse-and-violation-of-your-privacy

    What has been inadvertantly created is a way for corporate America to send hundreds of thousands of people to the gutter. But then maybe they do realize this and can see that in a short period of time, their only customers will be the wealthy in America.

    So..who is going to care enough to finally put a stop to any medical group, any business, any corporation from using your Social Security Number to verify your credit and who is going to be fed up enough to put a stop to credit checking for every thing you do in this life?

  20. I came across the article while searching if using your credit was illegal for purchasing insurance. I remembered a few years ago that Progressive was being sued because of this. Anyway, my random question which I’m sure is more rhetorical than anything, if you’re low income and less likely to pay your premiums, why would you be charged more money since you can’t afford the small amount to begin with? On something that is required nonetheless. Does anyone know if it is possible to sue because of this?

  21. Thank you for your post Jessyca. You bring up a very good point and are heading down a road many people will find appalling.

    I’d like people to note that in the case of Florida, the state Insurance Commissioner, state Fire Marshall, and state Treasurer are the same person. This was true about 4 years ago, so I am not sure if it is true at present. Why is this information relevant?

    It is a huge conflict of interest. For example, The state Fire Marshall sets the minimum requirements that businesses must meet in order to operate in the state of Florida under the state fire code which usually adopts the National Fire Code (NFPA codes http://www.nfpa.org/categoryList.asp?categoryID=124&URL=Codes%20&%20Standards)

    The insurance companies (governed by the state insurance commissioner) then charge you a premium for their policies and in those policies mandate that you must be in compliance with fire codes in order to maintain coverage. The insurance companies can charge anything they want for their policy and the state can mandate you meet a specific minimum requirement no matter how high that minimum is. Obviously an insurance company pays fees to the state to be able to operate in the state and the state in turn help the insurance companies make more money by setting a higher minimum code requirement to meet.

    This same scenario exists with all types of insurance in the state, home, auto, flood, etc.

    In the case of auto insurance which the state requires by law that you must carry, the insurance companies can now charge as much as they want to insure you since it is required by law that you be insured. They scratch each others back, and you pay for it. This also means that the general population must be of a certain level of income in order to afford the different insurances, which raises the states statistics on “average household income” which does many things for the state, including qualifying the state for federal monies in many forms such as grants and other means of revenue.

    This means that under achieving homes (income wise) eventually can not afford to live in the state because of the “minimum” requirements in all forms that must be paid for by the consumer.

    If you can’t afford to pay the insurance on your auto, home, business, etc., then you cant afford to live in that state and obviously you would lose the licenses, home, or real estate.

    Add on top of all that, these insurance companies now violate federal law that governs who can and can not have your social security number, and can now use that social security number to perform a credit check on you. If you lawfully refuse to give your social security number to them, they can refuse you a policy. No policy, no coverage. No coverage, well…you get the idea. It spirals down hill so very very fast.

    As far as suing someone for not being able to afford the insurances, or for demanding your social security number against federal law, I suppose you could try and sue the state, or an insurance company. But with the insurance companies in the back pocket of the state insurance commissioner, do you think you would have a fair chance of winning? The whole situation is soaked in the blood of conflict of interest and corruption. THe only way to change this, is by a vote.

    A vote hires your elected representatives and state officials, a vote can also fire them.

  22. Wow! How sad is this?! Are there any gains being made to halt this illegal practice? So here’s a question, if I refuse to give the my SS#, does that mean I can’t get auto insurance? Are there any petitions in the works? I’ve been living abroad for the past 7 years and currently looking to purchase a vehicle– does this mean I am just out of luck? Wow! What a difference 7 years makes.

    I also think it’s wrong for any company to require a credit check for employment other than the banking industry. The way I see it, my personal affairs are just that– personal.

    Thanks for this comprehensive article– I sure hope you’ll update those of us who are now aware so that we can start to organize and act against this new form of bullying! I’m utterly outraged right now.

  23. Thank you for your comment Yoy50. To answer some of your questions about who can and can’t, see http://dragontail.wordpress.com/2007/04/25/social-security-number-abuse-and-violation-of-your-privacy

    You can refuse to give your social security number to anyone who is not legally authorized to have it as provided by the United State Code 42.

    Anyone who compels you to divulge your social security number that is not authorized to have it, is engaging in a criminal act and as such can be charged and penalized according to our laws.

    Any private company or business who wants to do a background or credit check on you can do so with your drivers license or any other form of ID.

    A company can refuse to provide you with their services for any reason they wish. It is their right to do so. Buy your products and services at another place that doesn’t violate the privacy act or USC 42.

    Is anyone doing anything about this flagrant invasion of privacy ? It doesn’t appear so. It takes the general public at large to write, email, call their local state and federal representatives telling them to STOP this invasion of privacy and SSN abuse.

    My part is to inform you as best I can so that enough people are made aware of the problem and start flooding the offices of our “elected” officials so they can stop this activity. We hired them with a vote, we can fire them with a vote. As with any good company, if you hire someone to do work for you, and they don’t live up to their resume, and their job performance is below what is required, they get fired.

    Americans need to understand, this is true in politics. You hired them, if they don’t perform to your requirements, fire them.

    It only takes a vote.

    I am not aware of any petitions against this violation of USC 42 or or against the illegal authorization given to private companies to gain access to our credit information.

    It has gone unchallenged for too long.

    Educating the public on these problems is an essential step toward putting a stop to it.

  24. Driver with bad credit

    State insurance laws are part of your State legislation, so in my case my Assemblyman is the politician to contact to change insurance laws. My Assemblyman acknowledges that especially in bad economic times and high unemployment using credit scores to rate insurance premiums may have to be “revisited” in the State Assembly. In other words, maybe change it if enough people complain with good arguments.
    After 9-11 I didn’t work for a full year. That put me in bad shape financially, and created a bad credit score. Others may have been victims of crime and loss of work as a result. Or a health problem, etc.
    Also, those with more money can often pay for smaller accident damages out of pocket, rather than file a claim and risk higher rates. Paying a few thousand out of pocket for a fender bender is possible for those with money, while the more poor person has no choice but to file a claim.
    Anyone who thinks there is any possible correlation between wealth and morality (insurance fraud) or wealth and driving skill (safe driving) should have their head examined.
    Contact CNN and suggest this subject as a “story” they should tell. They could interview the insurance companies, the politicians, the average driver and so on….. I think a little exposure of this story to the general public would force some changes in your State’s insurance laws.
    Driver with bad credit

  25. To respond to those who ask about filing suit against Insurance Co. who use your Credit rating to compute your premiums. First things first, you yourself has to create a paper trail so to speak by keeping records of persons you may have talked to, initial cost of premium’s quoted over the phone, and quotes given when your were asked for your SS# and any their important information you might have obtained during your conversation with all persons along the way.

    Once you have all the information you feel is necessary to bring a suit against any Insurance Co. The best line of defense would be to go the Class Action Law suit, where by you and hundred, thousands of others would be given the chance to join in the fight and to also find the best of the best “Lawyer” You’ll notice I have that in quote’s cause we know how “Lawyers” are these days ??

    Now I’m not saying it’s impossible to sue an Insurance Co. infact your chances are pretty good so long as you have all the needed information to fight the fight as where by your able to persuade such Insurance Co, and put them on notice so that they understand you have the necessary information to persuade any Jury in the court of law in your favor would be inclined to settle out of court and try like hell to have no admittance of wrong doing and believe me they’ll try there hardest to achieve there goals if there allowed.

    For those who maybe interested in filing such a claim, would be in their best interest to make contact with place like the Cato Institute, or Heritage Foundation, or Constitutional Lawyers like Mark Levin or others of his caliber to represent yourself on a Pro-Bono basis or receive payment only if you were to win the case would have a pretty good chance to change the way Insurance Co. work with regards to using a persons SS #’s , it would even be worth one’s time even though the Insurance Co. were allowed to ot admit and wrong doing, JMHO….

  26. BFH Thank you so much for that very helpful and informative information. There is no real defense over the fact that it is stated in the United States Code that the social security number has one purpose and states exactly who is and isnt allowed to obtain your social security number.

    Second issue after illegally obtaining your SSN, is the obtaining credit information (even if using a different means) and that is the constitutionality of using your credit history as a means to qualify you for the sale of a product. If a product or service is offered for sale, what relevance does your credit have to do with that purchase of goods or services?

    This I believe to be a strong case on both counts.

    If an insurance company is THAT concerned about getting their premiums paid, then they should offer it on a month to month basis to alleviate this apprehension, instead of offering a year or 6 months worth on a “payment schedule” that they are worried about.

    One would think that using the persons drivers license for car insurance would be more congruous with car insurance to begin with.

    I also believe because of CNN’s far left bias, that Fox News would be a far better service to the cause. Especially since they carry Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck.

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  28. Thank you so much, there aren’t enough posts on this… or at least i cant find them. I am turning into such a blog nut, I just cant get enough and this is such an important topic… i’ll be sure to write something about your site

  29. GET THIS! I’m a 17 years customer of this handy insurance company (both home and auto). This company also has a banking division. Their privacy policy states it doesn’t share information about their customers, even between their divisions. The policy of asking for SS #’s is fairly new. Its used , I understand to weed out undesirible new customers. A month after purchacing a NEW $31,000 truck, I was sent a letter telling me the premium would be raised from $52 to $96 a month. The reason: my wife has too many revolving charge accounts. They told me because it was a new policy its standard procedure to run a “Consumer Report” not a “Credit Report”. My question to them was “How did you acquire my SS # to do this , Since the only time I’ve ever given it was to apply for a loan?”. ” We only need your drivers licence # to get a “Consumer Report”. ” It’s totally different than a “Credit Report” I was told by the Main office. I confrounted my agent about this and he accually showed me my wifes information on his computer and there it was. HER SS #! “She must have given to us for her car insurance.” said the agent. “Seven years ago when she was added to my policy it wasn’t required!” Currently I’ve requested a copy of these COMSUMER REPORTS. Yes , they ran mine too I found out. I’m currently shopping for home and auto insurance and looking at my options. Was this illegal?

  30. Thank you for your comment and question TLC. I am not afforded the luxury of giving legal advice and you pose an excellent question. In general this supports the fact that businesses do NOT (legally)require your social security number as you found out. In fact it is illegal to compel you to give your social security number unless you are a government agency or institution as outlined in the Social Security Act. Yes, a Federal law. What appears to be illegal is acquiring her SSN without consent. In other words they purposefully hunted for it.

    This is the type of behavior by companies and businesses that should be a warning to consumers. I, for one, never appreciated anyone that tells me “its always been done this way” or “everyone does it this way” and will lose my respect and business with that line.

    It sounds to me like you may have some good information to go to a lawyer with. Don’t forget about your rights under the Privacy Act of 1974. http://www.justice.gov/opcl/privstat.htm

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  32. I’m going to assume that since you have a gmail.com account, that you figured it out. Sorry it took so long for me to get you a reply. My Apologies

  33. It seems to me that insurance companies could use your credit rating as a guise to discriminate against race, gender, religion, age, zip code or any other host of reasons that the underwriters find that cost them money in claims.

    Increase premiums or drop coverage because you are the “wrong type” but
    use your credit rating as an excuse.

    What is not clear is what “exactly” is a bad credit rating. Again, this appears to be arbitrary because there is no way to find out what triggers the bad rating for one person vs. another.

    We need Congress to enact laws which prohibit these obscene practices now.

  34. Sad truth is, they aren’t going to change the rules. Insurance companies and large corporations tell our government what the rules will be. No rules will be changed any time soon to protect those with poor credit and good driving records.

    The American motto seems to have become “If you can’t afford it, you don’t deserve it – AND we’ll punish you for it.”

    Time to change countries in my opinion.

    I paid $23 per month for liability. Once the insurance company was allowed to check credit history, I was charged $80 per month.

    And they all do it. It’s just another example of our limp government in action – or no action, as the case may be.

  35. Ralph and Sharon, thank you very much for your comments, you are both correct. The problem here is the lobbyists. Insurance company lobbyists are the ones that pushed the laws through congress to get approved, to benefit insurance companies. Lobbyists and Special Interest groups submit these changes to the law and lobby for their approval. This is why special interest groups and lobbyists are the real evil next to congress itself. What we can do to protect against such atrocities is make sure you are voting for a congressman/woman that will not allow or sign off on such things. You hired a congressman to do a job for you. If he/she isn’t doing the job you hired them for and protecting you against such wrongs, then you need to fire them with your next vote.

    The sooner congress realizes we are their bosses, we hired them to do our bidding and do a job for us, and they can be fired for not performing satisfactorily for their paycheck, the sooner they will start presenting their bosses in congress, You and Me aka the public.

  36. Michael Overstreet

    My advice would be to call an independent insurance agent. They have the ability to shop many insurance companies and find a company that doesnt need to run your credit in order to insure you. I agree that it is ridiculous that they have to check your credit just to get you a car insurance quote!

  37. Hello. Very interesting site and you lead a very interesting discussion. There is a nice atmosphere here and I’m sure I will often read your posts.
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  38. Thank you for your comment Michael. This sounds like a great first step. I would also suggest that people ask first if a credit check will be ran, and also do not supply your SSN. If an agent tells you they can not process an application without your SSN, and can not use the approved other forms of Identification such as your drivers license or birth certificate, then you haven’t found a company that will respect your privacy.

  39. car insurance can be a racket. Make sure you find a good agent who can help you out and find a car insurance company that doesnt check credit.

  40. This is the first site I read on my new Mac. I’ll be back.

  41. im doing a paper on change in policy for insurance companies to be checking credit and i wondered if you have any sources that you got your information or is it all opinion. at least your last name for citing references.

  42. Thank you for your comment Rachel. My source is Federal and State Law. You can not drive a car legally, unless you have car insurance. If your insurance policy expires, your drivers license will be revoked due to lack of insurance coverage. As for the source of information about insurance companies doing credit checks, the insurance companies are the source. Try applying for insurance without giving them your social security number. If your social security number isnt required, great! Ask them if they will be doing a credit check because you dont wish to have any unneccessary inquiries on your credit.

    If you wish to have my name for your paper, please visit http://rocketwolf.net and thanks again for your comment.

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