NAIC Begins Look at Race and Insurance

“If not us, who? If not now, when?”
August 18, 2020

A panel at the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) virtual 2020 Summer National Meeting on August 13 discussed the difficulties regulators face in fighting systemic racism and bias in the insurance sector.

Sonja Larkin-Thorne, chairwoman of the Consumer Data Subcommittee of the Connecticut Insurance Department's Advisory Council on Technology, said subcommittee is looking into third-party vendors and large data sets they sell, which she said provide data on human behaviors, shopping habits, driving patterns, and various demographics. “[Companies] should be held accountable for, and required to unlock and explain every data point used and all data supporting the underwriting and pricing of insurance products,” Larkin-Thorne said. “They should not be allowed to hide behind the unregulated data vendors.”

READ: State Insurance Regulators Hold Session on Race and Insurance

The panel kicks off work by a committee that was formed to conduct research and analyze the level of diversity and inclusion in the insurance industry, as well as engage a broad group of stakeholders on issues related to race, diversity and inclusion. “It is the duty of the insurance sector to address racial inequality while promoting diversity in the insurance sector,” said Ray Farmer, NAIC president and director of the South Carolina Department of Insurance. “If not us, who? If not now, when?”


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