Shostack + Friends Blog Archive


Insurance Claims and Privacy

One of the biggest issues I have with the gossip industry is how behavior that seems normal and expected is entered into databases and is used to judge us in unexpected ways. As the Tampe Tribune reports in “Insurers’ Road Service Could Prove Costly:”

TAMPA – Andrea Davis can’t understand what two flat tires and leaving the keys in her car have to do with being rejected for auto insurance.
The answer lies in the optional emergency road service coverage the Lutz resident was persuaded to buy from her insurer, Geico, for $12 a year. The bargain rate, one-fifth the cost of emergency road service from AAA, turned out to be no bargain at all.

“They said I had too many claims,” said Davis, a public relations manager with a perfect driving record. “I didn’t meet their eligibility requirements.”

Insurance companies use a centralized database with tens of millions of records on U.S. motorists called Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange. The data are maintained by Atlanta-area-based ChoicePoint, one of the country’s biggest compilers of consumer data.

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