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Master's Professional Reports Abstract

Insurance Redlining in Texas
Mazar, Jeremiah Banks.
REPORT 1999 M458 Public Affairs Library

This report examines the questions concerning redlining, or unfair discrimination, in Texas' homeowners insurance market. Consumer advocates claim that insurers use discriminatory underlines that preclude low-income, minority homeowners from accessing homeowners insurance coverage. The use of these guidelines has a disparate impact on minority neighborhoods. Insurers counter-argue that the perceived disparate impact is no fault of their own. Rather, they argue that problems of high risk within minority neighborhoods, an un-educated consumer population, and market failure are the reasons for the low level of insurance coverage within low-income, minority neighborhoods. The Market Assistance Program, which is the state of Texas' effort to improve the availability of homeowners insurance within traditionally underserved areas, continues to suffer from a lackluster response.