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Are Auto Insurers Discriminating Against Certain Drivers?

auto insurance paperwork

A Recent Study Shows Insurance Companies May Be Charging Unfair PremiumsAs a Board Certified civil trial lawyer representing car accident victims in Pensacola, Ft Walton and Crestview for over twenty years, I have become pretty cynical regarding insurance companies. An occupational hazard, I guess. I don’t begrudge their amazing profits (they rival oil companies in corporate revenue and profit), their ability to keep a secret (you can learn how to build an atomic bomb on the internet, but have you ever attempted to learn how they calculate your insurance premiums?), or their use of intimidation (ever fail to make a claim out of fear of being ‘dropped’?), but I do resent the fake ‘brotherly love’ of ‘we’re on your side’, or ‘like a good neighbor’, when we all know, or should know better.

So it really comes as no surprise to me that the Consumer Federation of America, a non-profit consumer organization involved in consumer protection research since 1968, recently concluded that auto insurers were guilty of ‘unfair and discriminatory’ practices in setting rates, often charging lower income drivers as much as 40% more for the exact same coverage. Many insurers (Progressive, GEICO, Farmers and Liberty Mutual, for example) use education and occupation when setting rates, as opposed to actual driving history. So a doctor, for example, with the same driving record, age and other variables would, reportedly, pay LESS for the same insurance as a truck driver, or other worker with less education. This seems grossly unfair. CFA did extensive research and concluded that ‘auto insurers charge high premiums for minimal coverage to most working people, even those with perfect driving records.’ By charging more to lower income, less educated workers, the insurance carriers are forcing more drivers to face the choice of paying too much, or breaking the law by driving without insurance, which hurts us all.

At Michles and Booth, we only represent victims of accidents. It’s all we have ever done, and all we will ever do. To our clients, the insurance company is the opponent, and while I deal with honest, hard working insurance representatives every day, the insurance companies are kind of like casinos: at the end of the day, all the odds are in their favor. We all know that when we walk in the door in Biloxi, we should all know is when we walk in (or call) an insurance company.

If you or a loved one have been injured in an accident, and the insurance company is unwilling to do the right thing, of if you have questions about what your rights are, contact our firm today for a free consultation.

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