It's 2017 but women still can't win for losing. On top of consumer pricing bias such as Pink Tax and gender based wage gap, women in Michigan are faced with another issue - paying more for auto insurance.
Independent insurance expert Doug Heller, the same Doug Heller who shockingly revealed in August that low wage Michiganders pay more in auto insurance than their more affluent counterparts, conducted a new study into insurance gender prejudice. Heller produced the survey under the Coalition Protecting Auto No-Fault (CPAN) by collecting around 100 online premium quotes and comparing women and men with the same factors such as addresses, mileage, vehicles, and driving record, within the cities of Brighton, Michigan and Detroit, Michigan.
In the end, 3 insurance companies were shown to be biased when it came to premiums between the sexes. The medal for most prejudiced goes to Progressive, for charging women 38% more than men with the same demographics. Esurance comes in a close second charging woman 33% more than men. In another kind of bias Liberty Mutual charged both sexes 5% more if they were widowed. Heller’s survey showed that in general, if women happened to be single or widowed, they were charged 5% to 10% more than women who are married.
In response to the survey's findings, the 3 insurance companies replied to Channel 7 News as follows:
Progressive commented, “Our rating factors are actuarially justified and in compliance with all state laws and applicable insurance statutes.” Liberty Mutual opted for the route of assurance stating that one of their principles is treating everyone equally, without discrimination, and embracing an inclusive environment for all. Esurance really didn’t offer a statement, just a suggestion that those inquiring answers should look to the Insurance Alliance of Michigan (IAM).
Illegal Auto Insurance Pricing
Despite the auto insurance companies stating that their pricing difference based on sex is within the law, CPAN alleges that this very act is very much illegal according to Michigan’s Insurance Code of 1956. In section 4 it clearly states, “An insurer shall not establish or maintain rates or rating classifications for automobile insurance based on sex or marital status."
Heller argued, “When insurance companies are allowed to slice, dice, and price Michiganders according to personal characteristics that have nothing to do with their driving, many good drivers end up paying more than they should or driving uninsured, and it's one of the reasons premiums are so high in Michigan.”
It almost seems like fighting with auto insurance companies is like battling tobacco companies back in the 1950s. It’s no wonder why so many people are distrusting of insurance agencies today. With Michigan’s No-Fault under scrutiny, one can hope and act through their political representatives to make sure that biases such as this are no longer permitted by auto insurance agencies. A few rotten apples shouldn’t spoil the bunch.
One step forward, ten steps back seems to be the song and dance women have been enduring when it comes earning equality among the sexes. Even though data collected by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety shows that men are more likely to engage in risky driving habits, drink while driving, and more likely to be involved in fatal car accidents, women are still unfairly charged more for insurance. If you or a loved one has been involved in an auto accident, call 844.4MI.FIRM for a free consultation with an experienced attorney at The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC, today. We are here to help you!