Do Widows Pay More for Car Insurance?
In today’s auto insurance industry, complex pricing algorithms take numerous factors into account before ultimately deciding how much to charge you for auto insurance. Some of these factors include your driving history, recent accidents, and your gender. But some of the factors it considers have nothing to do with how well you drive. Take this for example: if your spouse dies, you could find yourself paying more for your auto insurance.
A new study suggests that widows pay more for car insurance. The Consumer Federation of America found that women who simply changed their marital status to unmarried because of divorce or the death of a spouse actually saw their insurance premiums rise as much as 226%! This “widow penalty” is unnecessary and should be stopped at once, said CFA director of insurance Bob Hunter.
In general, married people pay less than single people when it comes to auto insurance. The average 20-year-old married woman will pay 28% less than single women in the same age group.
The study used a profile of a 30-year-old woman with a perfect driving record. All variables were kept constant except for one: marital status. The CFA study noted quotes from six major auto insurers including: State Farm, GEICO, Farmers, Progressive, Nationwide, and Liberty. They then got quotes from 10 different U.S. cities. Only ONE provider did not change its prices according to marital status. That provider was State Farm. The other five routinely quoted higher rates for single, divorced, or widowed female drivers.
A recent study found that Michigan women drivers were routinely charged more for insurance than men. Independent insurance expert Doug Heller collected nearly 100 online premium quotes from the websites of insurance companies. He kept all other variables, such as driving history, type of car, and addresses constant and tested drivers with perfect driving records. He tested rates in both Detroit and Brighton. Three companies routinely charged women more based on their sex or marital status. Progressive, Esurance, and Liberty Mutual raised premiums for widows at least 5%-10% more.
Even more shocking is what happened when men and women with perfect driving records, same vehicles and addresses were studied. Progressive charged women as much as 38% more and Esurance charged women 33% more. Many allege that these actions are illegal.
What Can You Do?
If you are a single driver, it is important to know that not all insurance companies will treat you fairly and the prices you are quoted could be wildly different. The single best thing you can do is to shop around and get numerous quotes from as many providers as you can. Do not feel tied to the same insurance provider you’ve been using for years and if your marital status changes suddenly – be sure to shop around again.
Contact Our Milwaukee Car Accident Injury Lawyers
When you are injured in an accident because of another driver’s negligence, you should not have to incur expenses. The “at fault” driver should be responsible for the accident and your injuries. This includes medical bills, lost wages, loss of future earnings, and pain and suffering. Unfortunately, insurance companies do not always play fair and they can offer accident victims a low ball settlement that is just a fraction of what they need to fully recover. When this occurs, you need an experienced Milwaukee car accident lawyer on your side from the start.
At Aiken & Scoptur, S.C., we work with credible expert professionals to investigate and document all types of car accident cases. Our Milwaukee car accident attorneys are dedicated to getting clients the full compensation they deserve. We take all personal injury cases on contingency, so you will not pay us a fee unless we help you obtain money damages. To discuss your case with an experienced trial lawyer, call us at 414-914-2803 or contact us today. We represent clients throughout the state from offices in Wauwatosa and Wild Rose.