Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login

> Having a Hotmail account is a symptom of a problem which could lead to higher risk, but it is judging that symptom as if it is a cause which leads to risk.

No, it's not. Insurance is not about establishing causality. Insurance is about assessing risk. If you are correctly assessing risk via proxy signals, you are still correctly predicting the losses that will have to be covered by your insurance, it's completely irrelevant how the losses are causally connected to the signals that you use for the risk assessment. If careless people are more likely to both cause accidents and to have hotmail accounts, then use of a hotmail account does correctly predict an increased risk.

> Its exactly similar to the supposition that black people statistically commit more crime, and thus should pre-emptively receive harsher bail or be profiled.

No, insurance is not about influencing people, it is about assessing risk. Insurance companies ultimately don't care about how much losses they have to cover, they only care about pricing their premiums such that they do have the money to pay for it. Insurance companies don't raise premiums to incentivize people to reduce risk. Insurance companies raise premiums because there are more losses to cover where the risk is higher. That that might also sometimes incentivize people to reduce risk is a side effect, but not an intention of the insurer.




Applications are open for YC Summer 2020

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact

Search: