From Consumer Reports:
Car insurers didn’t use credit scores until the mid 1990s. That’s when several of them, working with the company that created the FICO score, started testing the theory that the scores might help to predict claim losses. They kept what they were doing hush-hush. By 2006, almost every insurer was using credit scores to set prices. But two-thirds of consumers surveyed by the Government Accountability Office at about the same time said they had no idea that their credit could affect what they paid for insurance. Even today, insurers don’t advertise that fact. They usually won’t tell you what your score is; they don’t have to. If a sudden drop in your score causes them to raise your rates or cancel your policy, you’ll receive a so-called adverse action notice. But those notices “provide only cryptic information that’s of limited use,” says Norma Garcia, senior attorney and manager of the financial services program at Consumers Union, the advocacy arm of Consumer Reports.
What a vicious cycle: Bad credit means insurance is canceled, which means you either don’t have a car or drive uninsured, which means it’s harder to improve a credit score. Of course, people only have low credit scores because they are high risk, right?
It’s not hard for me to believe that future metrics will include social media “scores” or any other bit of data that can be collated, charted, averaged and ranked. What could go wrong?