The Delaware Senate has passed a bill that will prevent auto insurance companies from using a driver’s sex, gender, or gender identity to determine their premium.
The bill, SB 231, barely passed the 21-person Senate with 11 votes; eight had voted against the bill, while two abstained.
SB 231 was proposed following a report jointly published last month by Delaware Insurance Commissioner Trinidad Navarro and the Consumer Federation of America, which found that a theoretical 35-year-old woman could be quoted auto insurance with premiums that are up to 21% more than a male driver.
Delaware Public Media reported that Republicans criticized the study, as it only used a 35-year-old woman as a basis for the comparison, and that it was also based on price quotes and not actual policies. But Democrats argued that data from insurance companies operating nationally found that women in their 30s, 40s, and even 50s are charged more than men.
"What is fair about charging a person for a service based not on how they use or are likely to use that service, but based on who they are? Insurance companies choose not to use race, sexual orientation, national origin, or religion in rating,” said Delaware Senator and bill sponsor Kyle Evans Gay (D-Talleyville). “There is no rationale no fair reason to distinguish gender, sex, or gender identity for the same purpose.”
SB 231 will be reviewed by the state House of Representatives following its passage in the Senate.