Gender Doesn’t Matter to California Auto Insurance

Ever since the invention of the car (and perhaps before that, even with a horse and buggy), there has been an argument over (and jokes about) who are better drivers: men or women.

Perhaps it’s safe to say that in today’s world, with all of the distracted driving, there isn’t much difference between the two. But legally in California, insurance companies are now no longer allowed to make a distinction.

Dave Jones, California’s insurance commissioner, has issued new rules that prohibit auto insurers, when determining policy rates, from using gender as a factor. These rules are brand new: The new Gender Non-Discrimination in Automobile Insurance Rating Regulation came into effect January 01, 2019.

In an official statement, Jones said, “My priority as Insurance Commissioner is to protect all California consumers, and these regulations ensure that auto insurance rates are based on factors within a driver’s control, rather than personal characteristics over which drivers have no control.”

Although it sounds unlikely, every insurance company has to follow the laws and rules of each state individually when it comes to writing policies. This is why it’s a good reason to use a local agent, by the way. Under the new Gender Non-Discrimination in Automobile Insurance Rating Regulation, all auto insurance companies operating in California must file a revised class plan that eliminates the use of gender as a rating factor. All insurance policies use rating factors to determine price, but this gender-specific rating has now been classified as discriminatory.

Discrimination is not new to the insurance agency. In fact, in 2017, California’s Department of Insurance faced down discrimination and won against two insurance companies. The Department proved that they were charging more to motorists in minority neighborhoods with the same risk factors as motorists in neighborhoods with a higher number of white people.

Do you think that gender should be removed from the insurance policy rating factors? Leave a comment and tell us how you feel!

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2 Responses to Gender Doesn’t Matter to California Auto Insurance

  1. Cheryl L. Short January 14, 2019 at 9:53 am #

    It’s about time gender discrimination insurance has changed. I’m a female and I drive my car only once or twice a week, and because of where I live my rates are higher and that is NOT fair.

    • Jennifer St. James January 14, 2019 at 11:32 am #

      HI Cheryl, we’re glad you agree! It is way beyond time for this kind of discrimination to stop. Thanks for commenting!

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