Most cities deal with stereotypes at some point, and while some can be positive ones, others aren't and can have an effect on the residents living in the area. While you would think the extent to which a stereotype could affect a community would be by people living in other cities prematurely judging them, it turns out even companies are paying attention to stereotypes and it affects the services that residents in certain areas have access to.
The company currently in the spotlight for discriminating against a city as a result of believing a stereotype is none other than the auto insurance company, Allstate. According to a former Allstate employee named Medha Joshi, the company implemented an unwritten policy to stop offering insurance to Brampton residents.
Joshi explained to CBC that when she came back from medical leave in the summer, she found out that managers at Allstate were trying to stop employees from offering insurance policies to drivers from Brampton. Telling the news source "it was very clearly said, in so many words, that there is a lot of fraud that happens in Brampton. That there is a very high number of claims and a very high number of fraudulent claims."
For Joshi, she believed the move had to do with a direct targetting of visible minorities, telling CBC "we know the community that resides in Brampton, and they are visible minorities." A very different reality from the presumption that insurance companies are following the "all-comers rule" that is meant to stop discrimination.
While Brampton drivers paid 70% more in insurance per month than the average in Ontario as a whole, this can be explained through the statistics that showed Brampton as one of Canada's top 20 highest collision cities. As well as being listed as one of the "least safe cities to drive in" this past year. Since more Brampton residents are getting into accidents and filing claims than residents in other Ontario cities, insurance rates are on the rise.
Though these statistics do not allow insurance companies like Allstate to prematurely decide to essentially blacklist a city from their service, as Joshi claims. According to the former employee, when she brought up the issue with her higher-ups, they were always too busy to talk. Though when she finally did meet with her manager, her job was terminated.
As of now, Joshi is currently suing Allstate for $600,000 for wrongful dismissal. While Allstate has not publicly responded to any news outlets, the insurance company has made it public that they are going to defend themselves in court and release their defence statement in the new year. On their end, they are accusing Joshi of participating in a plan to transfer an employee to a different location.
While Joshi's claims remain as allegations, once the case starts, it's expected that residents in Brampton would become involved in the case considering if what Allstate is being accused of doing is true, it's a serious human rights violation.