Ohio Housing Conference to Zero in On Scoring

March 4, 2003

An Ohio Civil Rights Commission (OCRC) housing conference will host several panel discussions about the impact of insurance scoring on access to homeownership in the state.

Three sessions dealing with different issues regarding housing and scoring will be held during the
conference, which will take place in Columbus, Ohio March 31 to April 1.

1. Insurance credit scoring — an introduction, “What is Credit Scoring?” Birny Birnbaum, executive director of the Center for Economic Justice and author of the recent study for the CRC on insurers’ use of consumer credit information in Ohio, will provide an introduction to insurance credit scoring.

The session will include an overview of insurance underwriting and pricing, a description of insurers’ traditional methods of risk classification for homeowners insurance and a review of how insurers use consumer credit information to decide whether they will offer a consumer a policy and, if so, how much it will cost.

The session will also review some of the issues in the current controversy over insurance credit scoring, such as unfair discrimination against poor and minority communities, and provide a foundation for the credit scoring panel discussion to be held later that day at the conference.

2. Insurance credit scoring — “Debating the Impact on Insurance Policies.” OCRC Director of Enforcement and Assistant Chief Legal Counsel Matt Miko will moderate a panel of experts on insurance credit scoring.

The experts will share their views generally on insurers’ use of consumer credit information and specifically on the hot controversies involved in insurance credit scoring and whether the insurers’ use of credit scoring will have an impact on protected classes, with emphasis on discrimination in the sale of homeowners insurance.

Presenters will include Birny Birnbaum, executive director for the Center for Economic Justice, Austin, Texas; David F. Snyder, vice president and assistant general counsel for the American Insurance Association, Washington, D.C.; Stephen M. Dane, attorney, Cooper & Walinski, Toledo, Ohio; Joe Thesing, state advocate, National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies, Indianapolis, Ind.; and the Office of the Ohio Department of Insurance.

3. Insurance redlining: Unavailability of insurance information. OCRC Regional Director Darlene Newbern will moderate a panel of experts on insurance redlining. The experts will provide information aimed at getting a better understanding of insurance redlining and the adverse consequences caused by insurance redlining.

The experts will also provide information on the lack of sufficient geographical information on the distribution of insurance products, as well as whether such information would benefit the consumer as well as the insurance industry.

Presenters will include Gregory D. Squires, chair and professor of Sociology, George Washington University, Washington, D.C.; and Edward G. Kramer, executive director, the Housing Advocates, Inc., Cleveland, Ohio.

To register for the conference, visit: www.state.oh.us/crc/hconf.htm.

Topics Washington Training Development Ohio

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