Esurance adds 21 states to car insurance savings program for same-sex couples

John Egan

Esurance has added 21 states to its program for car insurance savings available to same-sex couples.

However, Esurance says the insurance departments in four states — Florida, Louisiana, Missouri and New York — current won’t allow the car insurer to extend the "married" rate to same-sex couples.

Esurance says the average premium savings is 10 percent when couples are rated as "married" rather than "single." To qualify, same-sex couples can be in legal marriages, civil unions or domestic partnerships. Savings vary depending on a number of factors, including driving record, accident history and vehicle type.

The company already had offered car insurance savings for same-sex partners in California, Illinois, Oregon and Washington. Now, same-sex couples in Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nevada, New Jersey, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia and Wisconsin can obtain the "married" rate.

Esurance says the married rate will be available in August to same-sex couples in Michigan.

"Esurance is firmly committed to recognizing and supporting diversity for its customers," Gary Tolman, president and CEO of Esurance, says in a news release. "Offering additional savings to consumers regardless of where individual states stand on the issue of same-sex marriage is another measure of those commitments."

In 2004, Esurance became one of the first car insurance companies to offer discounts to same-sex couples. San Francisco-based Esurance is owned by Allstate.

"It’s important to note that the married rate isn’t a discount, and it’s not necessarily a shoo-in for savings — it’s just one of the many things that we consider when rating policies. But it could mean a lower overall premium for domestic partners," the company says on its blog.

Esurance says car insurance companies base their rates, in part, on personal characteristics that have proven "statistically significant."

"Married people, for example, tend to be safer drivers. Guess it’s just something about tying the knot that makes people decide to take fewer chances behind the wheel," Esurance says on its blog. "But what about domestic partners — shouldn’t the same logic apply? You’d think, but with some insurers, domestic partnerships are a whole different ballgame."

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