The case involves allegations of discriminatory practices
By Mika Pangilinan
A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed by Erie Insurance against Maryland regulators over allegations of discriminatory practices.
Judge Julie R. Rubin issued the order after a proceeding held in open court earlier this week, the Baltimore Sun reported.
The lawsuit filed in June claims that state authorities acted illegally in determining that Erie engaged in insurance “redlining” especially in Black neighborhoods within Baltimore.
According to Erie, the Maryland Insurance Administration (MIA) conducts an expedited investigation of complaints made by insurance brokers and subsequently releases findings that violate the law disclosing confidential business information.
Three brokerage firms filed separate complaints against Erie in January 2021. A fourth brokerage filed a similar complaint in December 2021.
In investigating these complaints, the MIA found that Erie unlawfully canceled or denied business from brokers based on race or other discriminatory or arbitrary reasons.
The agency further determined that the insurer unlawfully renewed or canceled contracts for qualified applicants based on the “adverse loss ratio.”
“The loss ratio metrics adopted by Erie are designed to target agencies that write business in urban areas with large minority populations and to reduce the amount of business written in those areas,” the ruling stated. in MIA.
In response, Erie sought a temporary restraining order to prevent the release of MIA’s determination letters and asked the court to declare these letters illegal. It also requested a jury trial.
Judge Rubin, however, ruled Monday that no hearing was necessary and denied the requested restraining order. The matter was instead ordered to go through the state administrative proceeding.
Erie spokesman Matthew M. Cummings did not respond to The Baltimore Sun’s request for comment. He spoke to the newspaper in June, saying that the company finds any kind of discrimination “disgusting and incompatible with the values that have guided our business for almost 100 years.”
What are your thoughts on this story? Please comment below.
Keep up with the latest news and events
Join our mailing list, it’s free!