The high cost of car insurance is a significant barrier facing low-income workers in the region. JOTF co-hosted a forum in partnership with the Maryland Consumer Rights Coalition
and the Maryland CASH Campaign
to explore the issue. Introduced by Tracey Barbour-Gillet and moderated by JOTF's senior policy analyst Andrea Roethke, presenters discussed the factors that drive up costs for low-income drivers and shared models for reducing the disparity.
Speakers included Marty Schwartz of Vehicles for Change
and Diane Bell McKoy of Associated Black Charities, who discussed the importance of car ownership and access to affordable insurance. Tom Feltner of the Consumer Federation of America
discussed national findings on how rate factors unrelated to driving inflate costs for low-income drivers. Doug Hellter, a consumer advocate from California, discussed the state's model approach to reforming the insurance system, including the implementation of a targeted low-cost insurance program. Finally, Marceline White of the Maryland Consumer Rights Coalition discussed Maryland-specific findings from a new report
, which can be found here.