US: insurers unfairly penalize drivers based on marital status image

Incredibly, a new study has shown that auto insurance companies are putting an “inhumane” penalty on motorists that have lost a spouse, raising rates for the new widows by up to 226 percent.

Traditionally, the auto insurance companies penalize – aka. Impose higher premiums – on people that are not married, says newly conducted research by the Consumer Federation of America. The consumer group says the study has found the increased rates have not been founded on figures that attest to higher risks. “It seems inhumane for insurers to raise rates on women who have become widows,” commented CFA Executive Director Stephen Brobeck. Former Texas State Insurance Commission Robert Hunter, now acting as CFA’s Director of Insurance, added the industry’s practices when it comes to prices are often invalid and might “violate actuarial standards.” The organization has embarked in an all out war against such practices by the insurers, with attacks in recent months as well against the way insurance companies focus more and more on socioeconomic data, such as a motorist’s credit score, discarding useful factors such as tickets and crashes.

The group’s latest study emphasized the way insurance companies modify their rates based on a client’s marital status, taking data from six major firms: State Farm, GEICO, Farmers, Progressive, Nationwide and Liberty. The study focues on rates for two women, one in her 30s and one 50, with perfect driving records, in ten key cities. They found a new widow has been penalized an average 20 percent by all besides State Farm. GEICO even went to a premium of 226 percent depending on the city the woman lived in.