Friday, July 27, 2018

Risk, auto insurance, and political correctness


I had to laugh at this report from Canada.

It started when an insurance company gave David a quote — roughly $4,500 a year, if he bought the Chevy. He had a collision and a ticket or two on his record, which helped boost the premium.

Then, he had an idea. He asked the insurer what his costs would be if he were a woman. He was told his annual bill would sink to roughly $3,400 — a $1,100 difference.

"I was pretty angry about that. And I didn't feel like getting screwed over any more," he said.

"So I asked them to change my gender on my auto policy, and she's like, we can't do that."

David, who was 23 at the time, says he learned he first had to change his gender on his birth certificate and driver's licence before he could have it reflected on his insurance policy, to get the cheaper rate.

After doing some research, he realized he needed a doctor's note to show the government he identifies as a woman, even though he doesn't.

"It was pretty simple," he said. "I just basically asked for it and told them that I identify as a woman, or I'd like to identify as a woman, and he wrote me the letter I wanted."

Under the rules in place at the time, Albertans needed to produce a doctor's note to switch the gender marker on their personal documents. In June, the government scrapped the doctor's note requirement for adults, allowing them to declare their marker as M, F or X, for those who don't fit into a strictly male or female binary.

David shipped the note and other paperwork off to the provincial government. And, a few weeks later, he received a new birth certificate in the mail indicating he was a woman.

"I was quite shocked, but I was also relieved," he said. "I felt like I beat the system. I felt like I won."

With the new birth certificate in hand, he changed his driver's licence and insurance policy.

All to save about $91 a month.

"I'm a man, 100 per cent. Legally, I'm a woman," he said.

"I did it for cheaper car insurance."

There's more at the link.

That reminds me of a couple of guys I know, whom I won't name for reasons that will become obvious.  They wanted to rent a house together to save money, but kept running into landlords who didn't want to rent to "frat boys" (even though they don't belong to that species), or who preferred "actual couples".

On a whim, they decided to register for a domestic partnership, or whatever the preferred term is in their state for a gay couple.  Certificate in hand, they not only found a very nice place to rent together, but also took advantage of special insurance, medical coverage and other deals offered to "couples".  They reckon they're saving several hundred dollars every month.  They routinely have their girlfriends over to stay the night, and everyone has a good laugh over the fallibilities built into the politically-correct gender-bending scene.

Peter

11 comments:

Beans said...

When I was working for the city, I knew two very straight, conservative dudes, one who worked for the city while the other didn't, who 'domestic partnered' in order to get insurance benefits.

Couple years later, when someone in (in)Human Resources found out, they started quite a stir over this issue, with the City doing just about anything it could to get rid of the troublesome employee.

And it was quite enjoyable watching the alternate lifestyle proponents have to support these two white, straight conservative men because otherwise the ALPs would potentially lose the benefits they wanted stripped from the two guys.

It was the moral version of a 1 legged self-assed kicking contest.

Ha.

And I do remember the insurance drop after I turned 25. From only being able to afford bare-minimum to full coverage and still saving money. Heck, I applaud the young man for his ingenuity.

Kamas Kirian said...

A couple of my parent's friends got "divorced" but continued living together in the same house and raising their kids because it made for a better tax situation and got better benefits if one was a single parent and the other "paid rent".

BW Bandy said...

I live in Alberta. He worked a legitimate loophole to take advantage. The idiocy of government allowing this will cause problems down the road. I have worked in the insurance business, he was not being screwed over. All insurance companies rate for certain factors, if you are male and under twenty-five rates are going to be higher than if you are female. There is data supporting this. There is no difference once you are twenty-five. I have never worked in life insurance however life insurance companies discriminate based on if you are male or female, women typically live longer. So will he be able to get lower life insurance rates because he is now a woman even though in reality he is not? I can see there being a lot of unintended consequences from this.

Dave said...

My wife and I have jokingly talked about doing what Kamas Karian talked about doing on more than on occasion.

In addition to the tax benefits, my wife's income level would allow her to claim a bunch of .gov benefits if she had 'sole custody' of the kids (we have 4). The food stamps alone would be double what we currently spend on groceries.

The system is screwed up.

Old NFO said...

Yep, the 'system' is so screwed up, it's almost criminal NOT to take advantage of it...

Rick T said...

I can see this trick wreaking havoc on the insurance industry's underwriting models. Yes, males under 25 are more likely to generate claims but who is male now?

Next step will likely be a blood test for testosterone levels...

Chris said...

The long term effect will almost certainly be raising the women's rates to match the men's. More money in the insurance companies pockets, and they get to very honestly say "Hey, we are just making sure there is no gender discrimination going on here."

Tal Hartsfeld said...

The problem with the laws being so clinical is that the lawmakers can legislate actual "snake oil" and then mandate everyone to buy into it, even when they're not interested in "acquiring" any.

Nuke Warrior said...

Back when I was in High School, one of the anointed categories was "Spanish Surnamed American" (this was prior to "Hispanic" being a thing). I seriously considered getting a name change to an obviously Spanish name, for the purpose of getting financial aid for collage. I figured I could explain my pasty complexion and blue eyes by noting that the Vikings made it to Spain in the past. In the end I didn't need to go that far, but ever since, i've been amused at how easy a clever, or desperate person can game the system.

Steve Wheeler said...

One of my dad's friends changed his last name after he retired from the Air Force to something Hispanic (don't remember what, exactly) back in the late 70s or early 80s to take advantage of government preferences for minority-owned businesses.

Stephen Bayliss said...

What happened here in the UK a few years ago will come to you. A complaint in a European court about the premium male drivers paid compared to female lead the EC courts to rule that insurers could not discriminate this way. Result, female premiums rose to same as male. Idiocy of choosing your gender will have the same result, buy insurance stocks! PS, artful users of this ploy may have some interesting conversations with their health insurers if they are unlucky enough to develop prostate problems.