New rules issued by the state Department of Insurance say California auto insurers can no longer charge drivers more based on their gender.
See a breakdown of new DMV laws that went into effect Jan. 1 here.
The change was applauded by a Los Angeles-based taxpayer and consumer advocacy group Friday.
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The rules bring auto insurance prices into line with the provisions of voter-approved Proposition 103 that prohibit unfair and discriminatory pricing and require rates to be based primarily on a person's driving record and experience, not personal characteristics, said Carmen Balber, executive director of Consumer Watchdog.
"Gender and sex have no more place in what we pay for auto insurance than race or ethnicity do. These new rules will finally end gender-based discrimination in auto insurance pricing in California,'' Balber said.
Under the regulations, insurance companies must file new class plans by July 1st of this year. Rate changes for consumers will follow.
"It is clear that the use of gender -- an innate, personal characteristic outside the control of the driver -- must be eliminated to ensure that all California drivers are treated fairly under Proposition 103's protections,'' said Consumer Watchdog attorney Danny Sternberg.
Proposition 103, which was passed by California voters in November 1988, requires auto insurance premiums to be based primarily on factors within a motorist's control: driving safety record, miles driven, and years of driving experience. It also applied state civil rights laws to insurance, prohibiting discrimination based on sex, race and sexual orientation, among other factors.
Gender had previously been approved as an optional rating factor.