The Daily Bork

February 15, 2005

Statistical discrimination

OK, I'd never heard of statstical discrimination. But it seems to be the phrase to use when the evil insurance company starts to charge you according to your personal risk...

Insurance excess raised
Självrisken chockhöjs (Göteborgs Posten)

Forget Länsförsäkringar if you live in Gärdsås. There the compnay punishes their customers with a drastic worsening of the conditions for home insurance.

Gärdsås is one of the worst areas in Göteborg, with many break-ins as is detailed in the article.

The excess is being raised [for Rebecka Söderlund] by nearly 400 percent. I have no chance at all to pay if there is damage or an accident happens. Now I have to change insurance companies, say Rebecka Söderlund.

So the problem is exactly... what?

As long as people don't end up in an insurance emergrency then everything is OK. But in a situation with only one or a very few alternatives it could be a problem, says Gunnar Olsson, chief of the Consumers Institute insurance bureau.

Well duh. It is unbelievable how people have a multitude of choices with cheaper insurance companies and have the complete freedom to take their business elsewhere and thereby exert pressure on the company they are dissatisfied with, but STILL complain! There is a wonderful irony here, what in English is termed "insurance excess" is in Swedish "självrisk" which, literally, means "self-risk". I think the irony would be lost on all involved in this moronic article.

But then in a related article

The excess increase by Länsförsäkring is a clear example of discrimination and should be reported to the Discrimination Ombudsman, says Masoud Kamali, professor of social work at Uppsala university.

... A poor area is made a problem and told that they must pay more, it is called statistical discrimination, discrimination which occurs when an area statistically costs more than they pay. It is the same with car insurance. When a customer suffers two or three times his [charges] are raised so much that he changes insurance company, says Kamali who thinks that the subject should be discussed at a national level.

Where oh where do these barking whack-jobs come from? "Statistical discrimination"? My bloody arse, you live in a bad neighbourhood, why should anyone subsidise that? Try fixing your own damn suburb and watch the costs of insurance drop you moron. Again with the obvious solution, having to change companies. There is a good market with many players so one CAN change company. What the hell is wrong with these idiots? The "national level" bit is the obvious play he is making. He wants nationalised insurance, presumably with premiums/excesses based on income. Of course that would hideously distort everything, since "statistically" speaking the worst areas would now have the cheapest insurance. There'd be no incentive for anyone to fix anything since the national insurance would cover it. What a bloody waste of time.

But Google up this fool Kamali and you find that he is heavily involved with the socialist government anyway, so he is not exactly impartial and has come in for a lot of criticism in the past for being a complete twat (not sure how to translate that to Swedish).

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