Lawsuit Alleges Discrimination in New Insurance Pricing Law

Three people in Montana are asking a judge to overrule a new state law that allows insurance companies to consider marital status and gender when setting premiums. They say they are paying a higher price because they are not married.

Three residents and the Montana chapter of the National Organization for Women said the law passed the 2021 Congress violates the state’s constitutional equal protection clause.

Nearly 40 years ago, Montana was the first state in the country to ban insurance companies from considering gender and marital status when setting auto and life insurance rates. California, Hawaii, Massachusetts, and several other states have created such bans following Montana.

Last year, the state’s Republican majority lifted the restrictions At the request of Montana Insurance Commissioner Troy Downing, some consumers will need to pay more than usual, he said. Health insurance was excluded because the Federal Affordable Care Act prohibits sex discrimination in health insurance.

In a statement, Downing said allowing insurers to consider gender, among other factors, justifies setting rates according to consumers’ expected risks. He said his office will ensure that fees are not excessive, insufficient, or unfairly discriminatory.

Plaintiffs, including Democratic Senator Diane Sands, said they were being charged higher rates for auto insurance because they weren’t married and because the state constitution protects them from discrimination. Yes. They filed lawsuits in Lewis and Clark counties.

according to wallet hubmost insurance companies charge higher premiums for single drivers because married people are statistically less likely to file a claim.

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