Follows the elimination of gender as a rating factor in 2019
Sacramento, CA | 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.