A new study has found that widowed drivers are charged more in Michigan for auto insurance than married drivers – even if they have perfect driving records. The study, released by Michigan’s Coalition Protecting Auto No-Fault (CPAN) also found some insurers charging women significantly more for car insurance than men.
Those extra charges could violate state law, which prohibits insurers from establishing auto insurance rates based on sex or marital status.
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According to CPAN, a study of online quotes from insurers operating in the state found that Progressive and Esurance altered rates for drivers based on gender and marital status. Liberty Mutual
charged more to unmarried drivers, according to CPAN.
The organization said that it found that Progressive, Esurance and Liberty Mutual
raised widows’ and other single women’s premiums between 5% and 10% compared with married women. Progressive, the study claimed, charged women with perfect driving records as much as 38% more than men with the same record, vehicle and address, while Esurance charged as much as 33% more.
“It is both unseemly and improper to increase prices for someone when her spouse dies,” said Douglas Heller, an independent insurance expert who conducted the study for CPAN. “Michigan law is supposed to prevent insurance companies from charging more to women or unmarried drivers, but some insurers seem to be ignoring the law and charging hundreds of dollars more to drivers simply because they are female, single, divorced or widowed.”
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