The report also examined the impact that different individual rating factors may have on insurance premiums, such as gender. In addition to California, six other states – Hawaii, Massachusetts, Montana, Pennsylvania, North Carolina and parts of the Michigan market – now ban sex as a ranking factor, according to the Consumer Federation of America.
"Gender, at the national level, does not really move the needle [for most ages]Said Connolly. "It's the case earlier, but for most people it's 1-3%. For teens, it's a little more. In some states, it can reach 4 or 6%. "
But here's the thing: these differences almost disappear among older drivers and make women pay more, says the Consumer Federation of America. As the European Union has learned years ago, it is possible that sex is only a substitute for more justifiable risk factors that affect rates and a correlation with sex. This is one of the reasons why premiums paid by men for their auto insurance have quadrupled compared to women, after the EU banned the use of the kind in setting insurance rates in 2012.
"The persistent disparity between men and women could be related to the fact that some predominantly male occupations may have lower claims experience," said a Guardian analyst. "In addition, on average, men tend to drive bigger and more expensive vehicles. The more expensive and high specification the vehicle is, the more likely the cost of repairs will be, which will be reflected in the invoiced premium. "
In addition to banning the genre, other states have decided to ban the use of educational status, marital status or credit rating. Insurance companies say that credit ratings help them assess the likelihood of someone filing an insurance claim, but consumer advocates say they can unfairly increase people's rates.
"I think credit scores are one of the things that attract people the most," Connolly said.
While other controversial risk factors are eliminated as unfair or irrelevant, such as marital status or credit ratings, some insurers are exploring other ways to assess risks, including the media. social and driving behavior monitoring technology.
Mr. Connolly explained that automobile insurers may be tempted to monitor individuals' fingerprints when setting rates, as these rates have been shown to correlate well with other prohibited factors, such as credit ratings. . And it's not just what you post: it's when you're online, what type of email you use, and even if you have typing errors in your messages.
But for the moment, many companies are content to focus on telematics, which receives data from participants' smartphones or devices connected to cars. These allow insurers to control when, where and how a person drives, even if they accelerate, brake too much or too fast.
Zebra's report states that telematics programs are particularly useful for people who drive little or who usually ride safe and smooth roads. at best, they still save only about 3%. But this could change as programs become more common, as is likely.
"If carriers could choose, they would want to monitor everyone driving," Connolly said.