Italian car insurers discriminate using place of birth

Occurred: 2012-2022

Car drivers in Italy were charged different insurance premiums depending on their birthplace, triggering accusations of discrimination based on national identity and the against drivers born in certain Italian cities.

A 2021 study (pdf) by researchers at the Universities of Padua, Udine, and Carnegie Mellon found that a driver born in Laos may be charged over EUR 1,000 more than a driver born in Milan with an otherwise identical profile. The study also found that birthplace and gender had a direct and sizeable impact on the prices quoted to drivers, despite national and international regulations against their use.

In 2012, Italy’s Institute for the Supervision of Insurance (IVASS) and National Anti-Racial Discrimination Office (UNAR) issued soft regulation to encourage car insurance companies to avoid using nationality-related factors as inputs to risk models. But the practice has been made more opaque and insidious when insurance companies started using algorithms to calculate risk premiums, according to AlgorithmWatch.

System 🤖

Operator: Linear; Genertel; Mps; Quixa; Con.Te
Developer: Linear; Genertel; Mps; Quixa; Con.Te

Country: Italy

Sector: Banking/financial services

Purpose: Calculate insurance premium

Technology: Pricing algorithm
Issue: Bias/discrimination - birthplace

Transparency: Governance

Page info
Type: Incident
Published: October 2023
Last updated: November 2023