- 1 Lawyer Steve Gursten tells WXYZ: discrimination towards ladies, widows, by MI auto insurance coverage corporations violates the regulation; Lana Theis ought to resign in disgrace
- 2 WXYZ Channel 7’s Kim Russell exposes unlawful follow of charging ladies extra for automotive insurance coverage
- 3 AAA expenses Michigan Auto Regulation authorized assistant extra – as a result of she’s a widow
- 4 Cease ladies from being discriminated towards and paying greater than males for auto insurance coverage
- 5 Women pay greater than males for automotive insurance coverage
- 6 Michigan regulation already bans auto insurance coverage worth discrimination towards ladies and widows
- 7 Women are safer drivers than males
- 8 Insurance Commissioner doesn’t implement the regulation to cease insurance coverage corporations from charging ladies extra for automotive insurance coverage than males
- 9 Lana Theis – who additionally occurs to be a lady – gained’t get up for ladies and widows
Lawyer Steve Gursten tells WXYZ: discrimination towards ladies, widows, by MI auto insurance coverage corporations violates the regulation; Lana Theis ought to resign in disgrace
Reality: Women and widowed drivers pay extra for auto insurance coverage than males. Women are being discriminated towards by Michigan’s highly effective auto insurance coverage corporations.
Reality: The Insurance Commissioner is permitting the insurance coverage business use a ridiculous and clear concocted excuse to cost ladies greater than males.
Reality: Highly effective politicians, together with Home Insurance Committee Chair Lana Theis (R-Brighton) aren’t solely doing nothing about it, however she and her husband are cashing in on tens of hundreds of dollars in marketing campaign contributions by Michigan’s auto insurance coverage corporations to permit them to proceed to cost ladies drivers greater than males.
Reality: All of this clearly violates Michigan regulation that expressly prohibits insurance coverage corporations from charging ladies greater than males. It additionally violates widespread sense, as ladies are statistically safer drivers.
It’s additionally not in the least shocking. Insurance corporations in Michigan are seldom – if ever – held to the letter of the regulation on the subject of their mistreatment of shoppers and automotive accident damage victims. Why ought to these similar insurance coverage corporations be held to the letter of the regulation relating to worth discrimination and treating ladies and widows in another way from males as properly?
WXYZ Channel 7’s Kim Russell exposes unlawful follow of charging ladies extra for automotive insurance coverage
Fortunately, WXYZ Channel 7’s Kim Russell final week uncovered this follow in her investigative story, “Michigan allows higher car insurance prices for women”:
“[T]he Insurance Code of 1956 … says that we cannot be discriminated against when it comes to insurance prices based on gender or marital status. But one woman found out in the most heart-breaking of ways that’s exactly what’s happening.”
That one lady that Kim Russell is speaking about above is Michigan Auto Regulation’s very personal Melinda McKee.
As Ms. Russell defined, tragedy struck Mel’s household when her husband handed away in January 2018.
When Melinda informed her household’s auto insurer – AAA – that she was cancelling the coverage for her husband’s automotive following his premature passing away, she acquired surprising information: her auto insurance coverage charges have been being raised.
As a result of she was now a widow, AAA had positioned her in a so-called “higher risk bracket,” although she continued to have a good driving report.
As end result, Melinda went from paying $200 per 30 days for 2 automobiles to $300 per 30 days for one car!
However what AAA did to Melinda following the tragic passing of her husband can also be occurring to tens of hundreds of different ladies on this state. As Kim Russell reported, what Melinda had skilled was all too widespread on this state – regardless of a regulation that’s meant to stop precisely such a gender discrimination from occurring.
I used to be additionally interviewed within the story. Right here’s what I informed Kim Russell within the WXYZ story:
“It is not legal … There is a law right on point that says women cannot be charged more than men, nor should they by the way, because statistically women are safer drivers.”
Cease ladies from being discriminated towards and paying greater than males for auto insurance coverage
Though this can be a very significant issue in Michigan that affects hundreds of girls, the answer is neither difficult nor new.
The Insurance Commissioner simply has to implement the long-standing, present regulation barring auto insurers from charging greater costs to ladies and widows.
Assuming the insurance coverage commissioner – who’s a political appointee, in any case, continues to refuse to implement each the plain wording and the spirit of the regulation by permitting insurance coverage corporations to concoct clear loopholes that permit insurance coverage corporations to cost ladies extra – then it’s as much as lawmakers to take motion – by enacting Home Invoice 5111 – to strengthen the regulation and cease discrimination towards ladies and widows.
On the finish of the day, this apply will solely cease when violations end in swift, sure and extreme penalties for insurers.
And that gained’t occur till lawmakers like Lana Theis cease caring extra about defending insurance coverage corporations who intentionally break the regulation than they do with defending their very own constituents.
Women pay greater than males for automotive insurance coverage
In her WXYZ story, Kim Russell reported that charges obtained from Esurance and Progressive confirmed there was a 28% “penalty for being a woman” with Esurance (i.e., the speed for a similar coverage was 28% greater for a lady than a person) and there was an 18% “female penalty” with Progressive.
Michigan regulation already bans auto insurance coverage worth discrimination towards ladies and widows
That ladies and widowed drivers are being charged extra for automotive insurance coverage is inconceivable to know in mild of how clearly Michigan regulation prohibits such an inequitable apply:
“An insurer shall not establish or maintain rates or rating classifications for automobile insurance based on sex or marital status.” (MCL 500.2111(four))
Women are safer drivers than males
Charging ladies and widows extra for automotive insurance coverage than what males are charged is as illogical as it’s unlawful, exactly for the rationale I informed WXYZ’s Kim Russell:
“ … because statistically women are safer drivers.”
The proof is within the following crash statistics which exhibit that “[m]ore male drivers were involved in crashes [and fatal crashes] than female drivers …”:
- 2017: 276,112 male drivers have been concerned in crashes and 1,030 have been concerned in deadly crashes, whereas 221,365 feminine drivers have been concerned in crashes and 446 have been concerned in deadly crashes.
- 2016: 275,382 male drivers have been concerned in crashes and 1,059 have been concerned in deadly crashes, whereas 221,200 feminine drivers have been concerned in crashes and 445 have been concerned in deadly crashes.
- 2015: 260,508 male drivers have been concerned in crashes and 1,043 have been concerned in deadly crashes, whereas 209,843 feminine drivers have been concerned in crashes and 380 have been concerned in deadly crashes.
- 2014: 262,359 male drivers have been concerned in crashes and 893 have been concerned in deadly crashes, whereas 208,359 feminine drivers have been concerned in crashes and 315 have been concerned in deadly crashes.
(Supply: Michigan Visitors Crash Information, “Fact Sheets” (“General Facts”), 2017-2014)
Insurance Commissioner doesn’t implement the regulation to cease insurance coverage corporations from charging ladies extra for automotive insurance coverage than males
There’s blame to go round. Consultant Lana Theis is a very odious instance of the corrupting affect of cash in politics. However when, as right here, there’s already an present regulation that’s meant to cease precisely this kind of worth discrimination from occurring, then the lion’s share of the blame lies squarely with our Michigan Insurance Commissioner, Patrick McPharlin. McPharlin has served as Michigan insurance coverage commissioner since he was appointed to the place by Governor Rick Snyder (R) in 2015
Patrick McPharlin has the facility and the duty to evaluate and approve – or disapprove – all charges submitted by Michigan auto insurers. That energy consists of the facility to cease clear video games meant to skirt round present legal guidelines to cost ladies greater than males for automotive insurance coverage.
And the Insurance Code provides him ample authority for rejecting charges that discriminate towards ladies and widows:
- “All rates for automobile insurance … shall not be … unfairly discriminatory.” (MCL 500.2109(1)(a))
- “An insurer shall not establish or maintain rates or rating classifications for automobile insurance based on sex or marital status.” (MCL 500.2111(four))
Moderately than rationalizing away the injustice of insurers’ discrimination towards ladies, because the Insurance Commissioner’s public info officer did throughout her interview with Kim Russell, the Insurance Commissioner ought to have used this as a chance to lastly get up for ladies by vowing to implement these legal guidelines for his or her safety.
Lana Theis – who additionally occurs to be a lady – gained’t get up for ladies and widows
It’s ironic – to not point out tragic – that the politician who’s most standing in the best way of strengthening Michigan’s Insurance legal guidelines to guard ladies and widows from discriminatory pricing is a lady.
Rep. Lana Theis (R-Brighton) holds the highly effective place of being Chair of the Home Insurance Committee. She has for almost two years wielded that energy to stop makes an attempt to single-handedly cease worth discrimination.
And she or he and her husband have each been paid handsomely for it by the state’s highly effective insurance coverage business.
In October 2017, Rep. Sherry Homosexual-Dagnogo (D-Detroit) launched Home Invoice 5111, which proposed to bar auto insurers from discriminating and charging extra to shoppers as a result of they have been ladies and/or widowed:
“An insurer shall not use … sex … [and/or] marital status … [as a factor] in underwriting or establishing rates for automobile insurance …”
Regardless of the invoice’s widespread help of 30 co-sponsors (fairly a stark distinction to Home Invoice 5013, Theis’s failed No-Fault invoice, which had zero co-sponsors and which was primarily written by the insurance coverage business), Theis has steadfastly ignored the invoice to guard ladies, refusing to name it up for a listening to – which is the required precursor to the invoice receiving a vote by the complete Home.
When WXYZ’s Kim Russell requested to interview Rep. Theis, the politician refused, in accordance with Russell’s follow-up story, “Is lawmaker blocking bills to stop gender discrimination by auto insurers?,” dispatching her chief of employees to offer a press release that – not surprisingly – did not reply Ms. Russell’s principal inquiry:
“The statement did not explain why she is not using legislation to stop gender discrimination and discrimination based on marital status, which the state’s insurance commissioner’s office says lawmakers could easily do.”