Michigan Officials have Rubberstamped the Discrimination of Widowed Women in the Insurance Industry

04 Oct

People all over the country are vying for the best auto insurance quotes. After finding auto insurance quotes online and obtain one they are happy with, people usually work to maintain the rate. However, in Michigan, apparently being a female is automatically derogatory. Plus, if that woman is widowed, they are apparently, automatically, even more of a liability.

The case that prompted an investigation into the obscene abuse of power is the unfortunate circumstance of Melinda McKee. One year ago, McKee’s husband, Jim was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer. Only a few months after this tragic diagnosis, McKee’s husband to passed away.

Still in shock, grieving, and heartbroken over the sudden and terrible loss, McKee gathered her strength to start rebuilding. Life without her husband was going to be hard but she knew she needed to get her affairs in order. However, when she called the family’s auto insurance agency to update her policy, she was in for another horrid surprise. The rates for her policy skyrocketed.

McKee, who has a clean driving record went from paying under $200 for two vehicles to over $300 for one.

The only explanation McKee received was that her new status (widowed) made her more of a liability. That didn’t make any sense to McKee. As it turns out, McKee was right to question this, as it is completely illegal.

Steve Gursten, head of Michigan Auto Law said, “There is a law right on point that says women can not be charged more than men, nor should they by the way, because statistically, women are safer drivers.”

However, that law and the evidence of safety among the gender meant nothing to insurance companies in Michigan though. To make matters worse, the Michigan government is backing the practice. An official for the State’s Insurance office stated that such high rates for women are legal if they are selling to the group.

Discrimination of this caliber is an egregious injustice and should be dealt with immediately. Unfortunately, after research that exposed this is a cross-agency problem, Michigan is doing little to rectify the situation. Nevertheless, there are people like Gursten who are working to find justice for the people affected.

While this is not an issue in California, it does make the insured wonder about the freedom of insurance companies. If Michigan succeeds in keeping their current practices alive, what kind of precedent will that set? There is sure to be a fallout, should this practice continue. The issue for the rest of the country is whether this will change current auto insurance practices. Unfortunately, with situations like this, only time will tell.

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