Sunday, February 26, 2017

Should Marital Status Affect Car Insurance Rates?

In case you have applied to car insurance recently, one of the questions you probably had to answer was if you are married or single. You might think, what does this have to do with car insurance, but apparently this is one of the factors they use to determine how much you will pay for your car insurance.

According to their statistics, single people are more likely to get into an accident compared to married couples so they use these stats to figure out how much to charge for insurance. Personally I do not think they should use marital status as a way to charge more or less for insurance. It seems too discriminatory as marital status does not really affect driving ability. If something like this can be used to increase rates, where will the line be drawn?

There are certain factors that make sense when determining auto insurance rates, for example driving and accident history, age or experience behind the wheel, and usage such as mileage and location where the vehicle is driven. These things have a strong correlation to how likely someone is to get into an accident. When they start using things like marital status, it brings up the issue of fairness vs numbers.

They can survey statistics on anything and they may find that certain things have a stronger correlation to accidents than others, but that does not mean they should be able to use these things to discriminate. When they use factors such as married vs unmarried, it penalizes individuals who may otherwise be good drivers but just happen to fall into a certain category.

Overall I think insurance rates should only be determined by factors that directly influence the likelihood of a claim. Other unrelated factors should not be used even if studies show that one group may have more chance to get into an accident compared to another.

Do you think insurance companies should be able to charge different rates based on things such as marital status and gender?