Note: Shortly after we ran last week’s story about LGBT couples and auto insurance, we received another submission on the very same topic. Since insurance is such an important issue for same-sex partners — and since it’s an area that’s experiencing a lot of LGBT-friendly changes — we’re sharing this piece, too. It comes from Benjamin Zitney, who brings readers relevant news about auto insurance. If you’re on Google+ you can follow Ben here.
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When Esurance announced last month that it was expanding its marriage discount to same-sex couples in committed relationships in 21 new states, it marked a new advancement in what has been a growing trend of bringing equality to insurance pricing.
Most major insurers have always provided discounts to married drivers. The reason? People in committed relationships tend to cost insurers less to cover when compared with single people. Usually, married drivers end up paying about 10% less than unmarried drivers. But for a time, that discount was limited to heterosexual couples, since there was no official way to verify that same-sex partners were in a committed relationship.
Exactly how many auto insurance companies currently give same-sex partners reduced rates is unclear, but at least a handful of major insurers already extend the discounts to those in long-term, committed relationships. A spokesman for State Farm, for example, says that his company—the largest auto insurer in the country—already offers rate reductions to men and women across the country who are married or in civil unions, regardless of their sexual orientation.
Allstate, which acquired Esurance last year, says that it offers the same benefits nationwide to same-sex couples as to straight couples (though ominously, it adds that it does so “in accordance with the current laws in that state”, whatever that means). And when you get a quote from Progressive, “domestic partnership” is one of the available options under “marital status”.
The prospect of 10% savings could be welcome news for those in domestic partnerships and civil unions in the 21 states where Esurance is rolling out the discount.
“If you’re in a committed relationship with a domestic partner,” Esurance said in its press release announcing the new insurance discount, “we value that commitment. No matter what your home state has to say about it.”