Auto insurance companies in New York can no longer ask abouteducation and occupation as factors for setting premiums, thestate's Department of FinancialServices said Wednesday.

Unfair rates?

Following a multiyear investigation, DFS Superintendent MariaVullo issued regulations that are aimed atdeterring discriminatory auto insurance rates. Under the newregulations, insurers are prohibited from asking an individual'soccupation or educational level as a factor for setting rates,unless the insurer demonstrates that such questions don't result inrates that are "unfairly discriminatory."

In a statement, Vullo said New York drivers who don't havecollege degrees or high-paying jobs shouldn't be penalized withhigher auto insurance rates. The investigation by the departmentfound that some insurance companies use an individual's educationlevel to establish a tier placement "without a clear demonstrationof the required relationship between these factors and drivingability."

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Josefa Velasquez

Josefa Velasquez is a regulatory and Court of Appeals reporter for the New York Law Journal based in Albany, N.Y. Contact Josefa Velasquez at [email protected]. Twitter: @j__velasquez