Single Women Drivers Face Uphill Road With Insurance Companies -- Price Gouging Suspected

(WWJ) Driving while female comes with a price, according to Michigan’s Coalition Protecting Auto No-Fault, which today announced the results of a study that finds auto insurance companies are violating Michigan law and discriminating against women drivers.

Unmarried women have it the worst, according to independent insurance expert Doug Heller, who conducted the investigation.

“Some of the companies explicitly ask the prospective customer if she is a widow and if she checks the widow box instead of the married box on the web questionnaire she’ll be quoted as much as $200 more per year for basic auto insurance than if her husband were still alive, which is pretty outrageous,” Heller said.

To get the data, Heller collected nearly 100 online premium quotes from the insurance company websites. He made factors such as address, type of car and annual miles the same, used drivers with perfect driving records, and tested rates in Detroit and Brighton.

Gender and marital status were the only variables.

Heller says the three companies penalizing drivers based on their gender were – Progressive, Liberty Mutual and E-surance, which charged widows and other single women between 5 and 10 percent as compared to married women.

“For men and women with perfect driving records, the same vehicle and the same address, Progressive charged women as much as 38 percent more, according to Mlive. “Esurance, meanwhile, charged women 33 percent more than men with the same record, vehicle and address, the study found.”

Heller is calling on the Department of Insurance and Financial Services to investigate the policies of all auto insurers across the state.


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