Chelsey Tucker graduated with a Bachelor of History degree from Metropolitan State University in 2019. She now writes about insurance with her specialty being life insurance and has been quoted on Help Smart Phone and MEL Magazine.

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Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years. He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like Reviews.com.

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Mar 19, 2020

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RedliningRedlining, in the home insurance industry, means refusing to write policies for those properties in high risk areas and neighborhoods. This term also refers to the refusal to write mortgages for the same reason in the banking industry.

Redlining tends to occur in poor, minority communities and puts homeowners and potential homeowners in a difficult situation.

The process can exacerbate inner city issues by making home ownership a greater challenge than it already is.

For this reason, there is a debate between insurers who see a need to assess risk using factors like area, credit rate and gender and between those people who label the practice as discriminatory.

Now that you know the definition of redlining you can read on further to get all of the details on the practice of redlining in the insurance industry or you can enter your zip code above to compare home insurance quotes from many top insurance providers to find the company with the best rates for you!

Who Redlines and Who Suffers

Home insurance companies base their business on assessing risk and offering a policy premium based on the risk of both the individual home owner and the structure being covered. Factors that are taken into consideration include things like the type of home, value of other homes in the area, safety features and the credit score of the person buying the insurance coverage.

When insurance companies note that a specific geographic area has a higher than average risk, they may decide that that is an area where they don’t want to do business.

While the practice of using credit scores to help assess rate and set premiums does stir up some controversy it is recognized that credit scores are based on one individual’s past behavior. In fact, studies have proven that credit scores are a reliable predictor of future responsible behavior and are therefore related to risk. Redlining, on the other hand, is based on the past behavior of a large group and then punishes each individual member for the actions of the group.

As mentioned above, lenders also redline when they refuse to write mortgages in certain areas, although the terminology has changed in recent years. Some banks now use a soft market index ranking that critics see as a redlining measure. The lenders see it as a way to manage risk. The lending and insurance industries usually view similar areas as high risk.

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How Redlining Impacts Your Home Insurance

If you live in an area that has been identified as an area of declining value you are likely to see an increase in your home insurance rates. The company will come up with a certain percentage for the increase. You may even see a sudden rise in the cost of you annual premium when your neighborhood is redlined when it was not before.

As for mortgages, some companies will require a larger down payment for the dwellers in those high risk areas. This means it is more difficult and costly for you to obtain a mortgage and to insure your new home. In a worst case scenario, the company will stop offering coverage. So what can you do?

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Consumer Protection Against Redlining

Most cities have high risk pools or FAIR (Fair Access to Insurance Requirements), such as the California FAIR Plan, to ensure that polices are offered to members of inner cities communities, and other high risk areas. Applications for such programs can not be denied due to those environmental factors that are outside of the applicant’s control. Look into your city’s requirements or ask your home insurance agent for this information.

The other thing that you can do is to control the factors that you can so you will look more favorable to your insurer. While you can not control the location or structure or your home, or your age or gender, there are some things you can manage.

3 Steps to Controlling Your Policy Premium

Step One: Maintain a good credit score – This makes a positive impression with all insurance companies. So, if it’s on the low side, commit to raising it in the next year.

Step Two: Install safety and security features – Having anti-theft devices, smoke and fire alarms in your home makes insurers relax a bit too. Plus, they will bring you peace of mind.

Step Three: Get rate quotes from several providers – Don’t assume that because one company doesn’t offer you a homeowner insurance policy, or that they offer a high rate, that all others will do the same. Shop around and compare your rate yearly. Different companies use different methods of rating risk. They also offer different discounts.

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How to Find Home Insurance Companies That Don’t Redline

The Internet is a great tool to use on your search for home insurance coverage. Each company will have its own website you can refer to. Plus, there are third party rate quote tools like ours right on this page that let you input your data once and compare rates quotes from providers who do want to work with you.

You can view their quotes side by side and decide which one you want to follow up with. Compare a minimum of three policies and companies before you commit to one.

If you are ready to look for companies that do offer policies in your area, start by using our free home insurance rate quote tool now!