Local Say What!

Illegal Fees in Car Insurance

Written by Chris Hunter

Save how much on car insurance?

 

When I was younger, I went through a steep learning curve with the insurance industry after my first wreck. A truck pulled out in front of me with no time for me to swerve or stop. My dad’s car was totaled. The police issued the careless driver a ticket and then a “popular car insurance company” declared me 42.95% at fault for simply existing. I was furious.

 

I switched to another insurance provider, and their bills got progressively larger each month without me getting any tickets or accidents of any type. Something was surely wrong with that!

 

I was told by a representative, “Well there’s a bunch of bad drivers in your area so your rates go up, everyone’s rates go up,” essentially, tough luck!

 

The insurance bill was getting steeper with each month and at one point it was so high that I was unable to afford the fuel to even think of driving at all.

Then, lightbulb, I finally figured out what was going on… MY CREDIT SCORE!

 

When I was 19, I suffered 6 fractures of the spine. Medical bills piled up and my credit score tanked. As my credit score plunged further and further south, my car insurance bill soared. My ability to operate a motorized vehicle in a safe manner had absolutely nothing to do with my ability or inability to manage or perform good banking practices.

 

Perhaps the logic is that a person who is a financial risk is inherently risky in other aspects of life. That may be true for some, but I’m not most people.

 

 

After having been refused a new account at a predominant mainstream Bank, I went to the Social Security Administration Office and they told me the truth about the banking system and “The Credit Bureau.” The Credit Bureau is a private group. Not a government entity, meaning there is no public or government oversight at all. I liken it to a “bunch of bankers drinking at dinner and deciding the future of world economies” as the “Credit Bureau” making a score system for risk assessment regarding private loans and credit cards.

 

 

Life ended up getting me a nice commercial flatbed truck so I went to another “name brand” car insurance provider in Wasilla for a quote. The quote for a whole year was only $210. I was happy. I plunked down twenty-one $10 bills and said “Lets make this happen!”  A representative came out of her office and asked “How old are you BOY?” to which I replied my age. She then instructed the underwriter to “tack on another $2000 for his age.”

 

You might not be surprised to find that this made me angry enough to scream. Surely this had to be illegal?

 

I started researching the LAW, Alaska Statues. I was in total disbelief when I read Alaska Statute 21.36.460.  I had to read it again several times a day for over a week before it really sank in.

 

What transpired between the “name brand” car insurance firm and what the representative told the underwriter was flat out illegal.

I printed a copy and took it to her whereupon I was firmly instructed to leave and never return.

 

The feeling was quite mutual.

 

Ever hear how woman get better rates than men? ILLEGAL!

 

Marriage discount? ILLEGAL!

 

Good student discount? ILLEGAL!

 

 

 

Pretty much everything except:

  1. Type of vehicle: how much damage can it do? How much will it cost to fix?
  2. Driving record: Clean? Dirty?
  3. An address to send the bill.

Anything else, anything at all which could be used to single you out of a crowd in any discriminatory fashion is, you guessed it…illegal.

 

Did you know that you have the right to refuse to have your credit score used in conjunction with personal insurance underwriting? That is just one topic reviewed in Alaska Stature 21.36.460.

 

I recently shared all this in simple terms with a friend, and her policy with a name brand insurance company was $145/mo.  She invoked her rights, switched to a carrier that would respect her rights, and is now with another “name brand” provider for $66/mo for the same coverage on her car.

 

Know your rights… and you could save more on car insurance

 

 

About the author

Chris Hunter

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