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Department of Insurance updates auto premium comparisons with gender-neutral rates

News: 2020 Press Release

For Release: June 30, 2020
Media Calls Only: 916-492-3566
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Department of Insurance updates auto premium comparisons with gender-neutral rates
Follows the elimination of gender as a rating factor in 2019

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The Department of Insurance released an updated online automobile insurance comparison tool reflecting now existing Department regulations that prohibit the use of gender in private passenger automobile insurance rating in California. The updated tool allows California consumers to compare auto insurers and their respective sample premiums in one central location.

“Drivers have no control over personal characteristics like their gender,” said Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara. “These regulations removed gender from the auto insurance rating process and my Department’s updated automobile insurance comparison tool allows consumers to quickly and seamlessly compare rates from national and local auto insurers. Finding an auto insurer with comparably low rates and excellent service record requires research and the Department’s tool is here to help California consumers, especially in this time of uncertainty during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The Department’s easy-to-use online tool is designed to take some of the guesswork out of shopping for insurance. The tool uses common scenarios to give a premium comparison between companies. Consumers enter the location, coverage type, years they are licensed, driving record, annual mileage, and vehicle type that best describes them. Rates are affected by all of these factors, including the driver’s record, at-fault accidents, traffic violations, and their experience behind the wheel, all of which are factors in a driver’s control. The Department of Insurance prohibited the use of gender in private passenger automobile rate-setting in order to remove factors that are beyond a driver’s control.

For example, after removing gender, an individual with two years’ driving experience who drives between 7,600 to 10,000 miles a year and has no violations would have an estimated average annual premium of $1,608 for the most basic coverage. That is in comparison to a male with the same factors who would have had an estimated annual premium of $1,723 and a female with the same factors who would have had an estimated annual premium of $1,555 before the elimination of gender rating.

Thousands of consumers have previously used the Department’s comparison tool to compare rates and find the best company for their needs. Now with updated premium estimates from 51 insurers, the auto insurance comparison tool continues to save consumers time and money.

Commissioner Lara announced last week that automobile insurance companies have provided $1.21 billion in savings to California drivers after he ordered them to give premium relief to drivers. That figure includes $1.03 billion in premium relief for more than 18 million policyholders for the months of March, April, and May while Californians struggled during the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, and an additional $180 million in future rate increases that insurance companies reduced in response to the Commissioner’s orders. Commissioner Lara ordered those savings to continue as long as the risk of accidents and loss has fallen.

Auto insurance protects drivers and their vehicles in the event of an accident, but not all insurance is the same. Premiums can vary greatly among insurers. Drivers should compare prices for various insurers along with the coverage features, limits, exclusions, and available credits or discounts, which are all included in the tool. The tool also has a complaint page where consumers may view complaints about each insurer over the last three years.

Consumers may also contact the Department’s Consumer Hotline at (800) 927-4357 if they cannot connect to the Department’s website and would like assistance for a list of auto insurers that best fits their situation.

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Media Notes:

  • Automobile Insurance Comparison Tool
  • This tool does not provide premium quotes. The premiums shown are based on responses by insurance companies to the Department’s Automobile Premium Survey. Each company’s premium is followed by a toll-free number for consumers to contact an insurance agent, ask questions about available discounts or credits and receive an actual premium quote that specifically addresses personal auto insurance needs.
  • Each company has provided discounts, footnotes, and complaints sections to the Department, which has displayed the company’s available discounts, credits, and explanations that may impact auto insurance premiums in the Department’s comparison tool. A link to the specific company’s performance based on the consumer complaint study results is also included.
  • The California Department of Insurance does not endorse or recommend any particular insurer or its products and provides this comparison tool to consumers as purely informational.

Led by Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara, the California Department of Insurance is the consumer protection agency for the nation's largest insurance marketplace and safeguards all of the state’s consumers by fairly regulating the insurance industry. Under the Commissioner’s direction, the Department uses its authority to protect Californians from insurance rates that are excessive, inadequate, or unfairly discriminatory, oversee insurer solvency to pay claims, set standards for agents and broker licensing, perform market conduct reviews of insurance companies, resolve consumer complaints, and investigate and prosecute insurance fraud. Consumers are urged to call 1-800-927-4357 with any questions or contact us at via webform or online chat. Non-media inquiries should be directed to the Consumer Hotline at 800-927-4357. Teletypewriter (TTY), please dial 800-482-4833.

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