Gender Discrimination in Insurance – Does It Affect You?

On both sides of the Atlantic, gender discrimination in insurance is something of a discussion point. Insurance policies and rates are determined by actuaries, who look at a wide variety of variables to work out what you should be paying, like where you live and what you do, and quite often gender is one of those variables.

Some historical data shows that women live longer than men for example, and insurers use these kinds of statistics to give lower or higher premiums to people depending on their gender.

Insurance Coverage

Women pay lower premiums as compared to menHowever, in Europe, the EU recently declared this illegal. For years, car insurers have studied statistics and concluded that female drivers are less likely than males to get in accidents or make claims, and so have offered lower premiums for women. Ads have targeted women by describing them as “careful drivers” and there are even insurance companies who only offer policies to female drivers. Whether this is based on hard evidence or the stats have been exaggerated for marketing purposes is debatable, but one thing is for sure: as of 21st December car insurance providers can no longer offer reduced rates to women, and the advertising campaigns targeting them will stop.

A major shift:

It is anticipated that women drivers’ insurance premiums will rise to meet men’s, in some cases going up by around £300, or between 25 and 50%. This will obviously require women to plan ahead and budget for the increase. Women are also advised to make sure they hunt around when next renewing their policy – the variables used to determine your car insurance premiums will have changed. So use price comparison sites and do your own legwork to make sure you’re getting the best deal.

While in Europe, women have been saving on car insurance in comparison to male counterparts, women in America are having the opposite problems when it comes to their health insurance, due to gender ratings which favor  men.

A report published this year by the non-profit National Women’s Law Center claimed that gender rating results in women being charged significantly more than men for the same policies (even when maternity care is taken into account).

In some cases, they found that policies for women cost around 85% more than comparable policies for men. For example, one plan in South Dakota charges a 40-year-old woman $1252.80 more a year than a 40-year-old man for the same coverage.

How car insurance gender discrimination affects you directly?

Pricing Gap

Right since the start, men have always been asked and required to pay higher car insurance premiums than women. The reasons for this pricing gap are many, some of which include-

  • The type of cars that men are most likely to choose
  • The frequency of accidents amongst women against men
  • Considering gender-based statistics on risky driving behavior
  • The average number of miles driven by women versus men

If you’re still confused with this strange car insurance gender discrimination, the following will tell you exactly why women pay lower premiums than men. Based on reports and statistics:

  • Women are less likely to get into car accidents
  • Violating traffic rules, road regulations and driving under the influence of alcohol are misbehaviors that are most likely to be found amongst men drivers than women.
  • Men tend to purchase costlier cars than women
  • Women are less likely to drive the average miles as compared to men

How male drivers can fight this car insurance gender discrimination fiasco:

Agreed, that as a man, you may not have many options that can keep your car insurance premiums lower than usual. However, you can always compare the car insurance rates and go for something that you can afford. You can always comparison-shop with different providers and choose the car insurance plan that is best for you.

Also, having a clean driving record can take male drivers a long way. As long as you drive right and safe, it will be easier for you to fetch cheap car insurance rates. Also, with safe and careful driving, it gets easier for men to keep their accident count low and the payment of premiums doesn’t arise in such cases.

If a man has a remarkable driving history, he can still manage to pay lower premiums than a female driver with a poor driving record.

In the end:

Many states have banned gender rating already, but a widespread ban won’t come into force until 2014. In the meantime, if your state has not banned gender rating, unfortunately, there is little you can do other than compare plans and find the best for you. If your state has banned gender rating but you believe you are still paying more than a male counterpart for an identical plan due to persisting car insurance gender discrimination, you need to take an action.

3 Tips To Identify Tax Relief Fraud Practices

You may have come across many ads and commercials for tax relief firms. Many tax relief firms boast of their services and make big promises but in reality they are nothing but frauds waiting to pay on desperate and innocent customers. They justify and proclaim themselves to be the best in business but it is on you to identify the right firm that will benefit you. There are many publically listed popular companies but are not trustworthy. But people generally realize this when they are duped out of their money.

Unfortunately, this business has attracted many frauds that just wait to kill those that are weakened by the threat of tax penalties and problems. Even if you can’t stop these unscrupulous firms from succumbing to their greed, you can arm yourself with the tools necessary to defend against their cheating. It is crucial that you understand the different types of frauds that are trademarks of a fake.

Avoid non-refundable direct payments

The most common fraud that is seen among these firms is to charge direct payments that have absolutely no guarantees and are non-refundable in nature. While they promise to yield result, they are very unpredictable and very difficult to achieve. That means there is high chance of loss of money. Committing a huge amount without any research and guarantees can be risky. These frauds are not concerned about your money or about your tax problems; they are just bent on making money by preying on you.

Never mis-judge the potential outcomes

There are some aggressive companies that reel in the customers on their tax troubles and take advantage of their compromise settlements. The truth is that only a few taxpayers qualify for a compromise. Most of us don’t know this so the frauds just string us along and make us assume that our problem is being taken care of, when in reality, we didn’t even qualify for the compromise.

There are many factors that are considered by IRS in compromise application like the taxpayer’s ability to pay, income, expenses and plus equity. Choose a relief firm that answers your queries and tells you from the start that a compromise is very difficult to obtain. The company should have your best interests in mind.

Identify the real service providers

There are some fraud companies that boast of their tax relief services, but are nothing but fakes. Such companies just make bi promises and then turn to other companies that provide the actual service. It is very important to stay away from such outright frauds. Often we are led to believe that the company we have hired is doing the entire job but the truth is they have hired other service providers for the job or outsourced freelance contractors.

Some unscrupulous firms register many customers into their program and collect their money without providing adequate services. When there are several complaints or upset customers, they just merely change their name and begin preying on customers in a different place.

Student Loan Consolidation – How Does It Work To Help You Pay Off Your Loans?

Most of the students, who decide to pursue higher education, opt for student loans as now-a-days, higher education has become extremely costly. Thus, when you finish off your higher education, it is quite obvious that you will have a huge amount of debt to pay off. Moreover, you cannot complete your higher education with one student loan. You will have to take out multiple loans. Thus, student loans can be quite mind-boggling and stressful. If you get a high paying job, then it will be easier for you to pay off the loan. But if you end up with a mediocre or low paying job, you will face problems in paying off the loan. It is here that the option of student loan consolidation comes in.

Defining student loan consolidation

Student loan consolidation is one of the best options to get rid of student loans. With the help of this option, you will be able to consolidate all your student loans into one loan and you will get the option of making one monthly payment. The payment amount and the interest rate will be lower compared your individual student loans. Moreover, as you will be liable for making one payment, chances of late payment will be quite less. However, for some people, student loan consolidation can be advantageous while for some people it may be not.

Eligibility requirements for loan consolidation

Before you think of student loan consolidation, you should first check out whether or not you are eligible for this debt repayment option. It should be noted here that loan servicers and lenders have different rules in this regard. For example, some loan servicers will require you to have a certain amount of debt (for example – $30,000) in order to provide you with the option of loan consolidation. However, it should also be noted here that you will not be liable for making payments toward the student loan until your grace period gets over.

Tips to consider while opting for student loan consolidation

Here are certain tips which can be of great help to you when you consider going for a student loan consolidation:

  • Consider this option when loan becomes due: Loan consolidation will be a good option when the loan becomes due. Normally, you should go for this option when your grace period gets over and you will have to make the payments. By this time, you will also have an idea about your financial situation.
  • Limited option: You cannot go for student loan consolidation for multiple times. This repayment option will be available to you only once. So, it is very important that you choose this option at the right time. Unless it becomes difficult to pay off the loans, you should try and avoid this option of loan repayment.
  • Lose special benefits associated with the loan: If you go for student loan consolidation, you may lose special benefits associated with the loan like interest rate discounts, etc. So, you need to be extremely conscious about it.

Hope now you have a clear idea of how student loan consolidation works!