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Racial Profiling, Insurance Style: Insurance Redlining and the Uneven Development of Metropolitan Areas

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Racial profiling has emerged as a highly contentious practice in a range of social settings. This article examines the role of racial profiling in the property insurance industry and how such practices, grounded in negative racial stereotyping, have contributed to racial segregation and uneven metropolitan development. From a review of industry underwriting and marketing materials, court documents, and research by government agencies, industry and community groups, and academics, it is clear that race has long affected and continues to affect the policies and practices of this industry. Due to limitations in publicly available data, it is difficult to assess precisely the extent to which race shapes industry practices. Research and public policy initiatives are explored that can ameliorate the data problems, increase access to insurance, and foster more equitable community development.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: George Washington University

Publication date: 2003-11-01

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