The problem is more complex than a bunch of racist insurance executives deciding that certain neighborhoods should be denied coverage, of course. That would be blatantly against the law. Instead of overt racism, the disparities likely have more to do with how insurance companies track claims and rate risk. That most, if not all, use ZIP codes, for instance, plays into Baltimore's historically segregated housing patterns. That a driver's poor credit history and not merely his or her driving record is used to justify higher rates has an especially harsh impact on low-income city neighborhoods, which also tend to be predominantly African American.