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I think the real correlation here is with age. People who still use a Hotmail address are likely from carryovers of the MSN era, i.e. millenials.


My experience has always been that customers with email addresses at older services (Hotmail, Yahoo, Earthlink, AOL etc) are usually boomers that are using an account set up for them by their millennial aged grandchildren back in the 90's or early 2000's...

Exactly the demographic that will be more likely to exhibit impaired driving.

This makes perfect sense.

Except that age is almost certainly already a variable in the rating system, and its effect should be taken in account already.

My comment was a little tongue-in-cheek, but you make a good a point. As other posts have mentioned, the email would be a proxy for other factors associated with age that age by itself can't capture.

If it's age at all. I'd bet it might be more closely associated with something harder to articulate or measure, along the lines of "a proclivity for clinging to subpar solutions." Someone who uses a subpar email service might also have ingrained poor driving habits.

Aaah, but it's not just age. It's also technical incompetence. People with Hotmail accounts are probably less likely to do their own maintenance, after all they haven't maintained their e-mail by moving to a provider with functional spam filtering. Their cars are more likely to break down. Not all insurance claims are due to accidents.

Millennial male here (car insurers love taking my money), still use the same hotmail account that I made when I wanted to chat with my elementary school friends. I have two different gmail accounts, but I can't ever seem to make the switch over (I've tried multiple times). I think I'm the only person who uses gmail for spam accounts and hotmail as my real account.


I can't think of a millennial that would be caught dead with a Hotmail account.

However, I do agree it's age. Probably advanced age rather than young age.

The real problem is that we are allowing "AI analysis" to allow people to discriminate upon something (Hotmail ownership) which we would NOT allow people to discriminate on (age, in this instance) outright.

Car insurers are allowed to discriminate by age...? As I’ve aged out of college, my rates have gone down quite a bit.

I guess one worry is that you have multicollinearity, you might get a “double counting” effect on the same signal. But, you should be able to see that in a proper model.

Car insurers have to place everybody in the same age group into the same bracket by default. They can't penalize for something unrelated to actual historical performance of the individual situation(like type of car, zipcode, etc.).

The danger with allowing these kinds of "AI" models is that they will become instances of parallel construction: "We don't want to insure people who are <X>, so construct a model until it coughs up a surrogate to <X> at a 95% probability."

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