A Discussion of Discrimination and Fairness in Insurance Pricing
14 Pages Posted: 18 Sep 2022
Date Written: September 2, 2022
Indirect discrimination is an issue of major concern in algorithmic models. This is particularly the case in insurance pricing where protected policyholder characteristics are not allowed to be used for insurance pricing. Simply disregarding protected policyholder information is not an appropriate solution because this still allows for the possibility of inferring the protected characteristics from the non-protected ones. This leads to so-called proxy or indirect discrimination. Though proxy discrimination is qualitatively different from the group fairness concepts in machine learning, these group fairness concepts are proposed to 'smooth out' the impact of protected characteristics in the calculation of insurance prices. The purpose of this note is to share some thoughts about group fairness concepts in the light of insurance pricing and to discuss their implications. We present a statistical model that is free of proxy discrimination, thus, unproblematic from an insurance pricing point of view. However, we find that the canonical price in this statistical model does not satisfy any of the three most popular group fairness axioms. This seems puzzling and we welcome feedback on our example and on the usefulness of these group fairness axioms for non-discriminatory insurance pricing.
Keywords: discrimination, indirect discrimination, proxy discrimination, fairness, protected information, discrimination-free, unawareness, group fairness, statistical parity, independence axiom, equalized odds, separation axiom, predictive parity, sufficiency axiom
JEL Classification: G22, G21
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation