A user recently moved to California and came to SafeButler.com for his Auto Insurance. After signing up, he asked us an interesting question over chat, “Back where I lived, I had to provide my Social Security Number to obtain Auto Insurance quotes. Why doesn’t SafeButler need that?” Our answer was “You are not in Kansas anymore. This is California.”
Insurance is regulated state by state. Back in 1988, California voters approved Prop 103. Among other consequences, it prohibits insurance companies from using consumer credit scores as a rating factor. Thus Auto quotes in California do not need the SSN.
Thirty years later, Prop 103 remains a hotly contested topic. Insurance companies argue that it deprived them of one of the most accurate rating tools. On the other hand, consumer advocacy groups hail it as a big win for consumers. California Department of Insurance, the state’s insurance regulator, cited studies that claimed Prop 103 saved California consumers over $100B in 25 years since its approval. Whether Prop 103 is responsible for it or not, it is a fact that California’s insurance rate has been largely flat since 1988 while the national average has increased 43%.
One thing is for sure. As we tell our users if a website asks for the SSN to quote Auto Insurance in California, either the site doesn’t know what it is doing or it may be a fraud.