When neighborhood boundaries matter

Yeah, mostly they're just a plot to drive editors insane, but don't tell that to Evelyn Cartwright, who had to fight with her insurance company to get Dorchester insurance rates for her car, which the company insisted was parked in Roxbury, where rates are higher.

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      Neighborhood boundaries and ZIP codes are artificial

      I moved from a student-heavy area where my antenna got swiped and my car keyed and bumpers dented on a regular basis but where there aren't roads with high speed limits, to a quiet street where I know all my neighbors and nothing ever happens to my car in a ZIP code where there are two major interstates and some run-down areas where there are high rates of people driving without licenses or insurance. My insurance rate tripled, because they go by ZIP code. It's also of course ridiculous that they go by where it's garaged (or streeted...) rather than what you DO with it on a regular basis.

      I really think they should do it based on knowledge of rules of the road, knowledge of safe driving practices, etc.

      How would you propose that?

      I like the idea, but the advantage of zip code is that it's incontrovertible, easy to administer, and easy to verify to make sure that neither the policyholder nor the insurance company are cheating. Part of the argument for reducing the number of underwriting criteria was to take racial discrimination off the table.