When Averages are Investigated

Photo: Jessica Leigh, Allstate

Allstate Insurance recently asked permission to set insurance premium prices based upon actual driver behaviors and experiences.  Part of the request was to answer the criticism that they had been using credit scores as a proxy which of course is unfair to some while too generous to others. Read the Wall Street Journal article here. 

As the electric utility industry copes with price changes, it should be extremely instructive to see how today’s enhanced information channels can offer some customers lower prices but will also expose the higher costs to serve others.  One of the recommendations is to use a small inexpensive device in the car itself to see how it is driven as well as how many miles.

Any price changes, however worthy in an of their own rights, brings about winners and losers.  Today’s consumers will quickly bitch when their prices go up while others go down and throw whatever tantrums they can like invasion of privacy or some form of discrimination.  Yet, we all know that life moves toward the goal of each of us being accountable for how we live.

I have long wondered how long it would be before smokers saw higher prices in their health insurance.  They certainly do with their life insurance.  But, in all cases the premiums depend upon people admitting they smoke.  The day will soon come that your blood tests as part of your annual physical will be used to price your health care and life insurance costs.  It is only a matter of time.

Our society wants its freedoms to live without intervention and scrutiny and I certainly understand why.  Perhaps we are all delusional given how much of our personal lives can be discovered by our credit card details along with the records being kept by our grocery stores and other retailers.

Is that the reason people are so interested in crypto currency?  Could it be that they suspect they will need a system that keeps things hidden?  We should really analyze the “traffic” on these systems to see who is using them to move money from here to there and where.

Data privacy is a noble goal when stated, but I wonder whether the cat is already out of the bag?

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