Allstate Apologizes for Study on Astrological Signs
February 7, 2011
For the record, there is no empirical evidence that your astrological sign can predict the probability of you getting into a car accident. Nor is there any empirical evidence that astrology can be a good basis to determine car insurance rates… Unless you are Allstate! This is a moment that many at Allstate are slapping their forehead and are wondering about the thought process that went into the production of a study linking astrology to the driving habits of their insured.
What was supposed to be a light-hearted look at a link between car accidents and astrology has turned into a public-relations misstep for Allstate Insurance.
The Northbrook-based insurer issued an apology Saturday for a study it released two days earlier that rated the safest drivers based on their Zodiac signs.
Its 2010 claims data showed that Virgos were the worst drivers. The insurer found that Virgos were 700 percent more likely to be in a car accident in the last year than Scorpios.
Scorpios were involved in only 1.5 percent of accidents last year, making them the best drivers on the road, Allstate said in the press release. The rest of the list, from best to worst drivers, was Ophiuchus, Cancer, Aquarius, Libra, Aries, Capricorn, Gemini, Sagittarius, Pisces, Taurus, Leo and Virgo.
Allstate said the study was intended to be for “entertainment purposes only”, but people reading about the study online on blogs and news outlets such as the Chicago Tribune took it seriously.
The insurer said Saturday that the study caused confusion “around whether astrological signs are part of the underwriting process.” To correct what it said were misperceptions, Allstate had to state the obvious:
“Astrological signs have absolutely no role in how we base coverage and set rates. Rating by astrology would not be actuarially sound.”
The company also removed the study from its online newsroom.