Bob Egelko is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer.
: begelko sfchronicle. The rules will change practices that vary widely among insurers and among regions in California, according to the Department of Insurance.
Oregon took that step in April, allowing insurers to charge different rates for three gender. Nationally, a survey by the Consumer Federation of America in 10 cities, including Los Angeles, found that women ages 40 or 60 with perfect driving records were often charged more than men of similar ages, while year-old women were often charged less than men of the same age with pettibon driving records.
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It said some companies have found women to be a higher risk and thus charge them higher rates, while others find similarly situated men to pose higher risks. But it allowed the commissioner to adopt regulations letting insurers include other factors in deciding what risks a driver posed. New regulations by Commissioner Dave Jones eliminate gender from the factors an auto insurance company can consider in setting rates.
The rules took effect Jan. Everyday low prices and free. The pettiibone commissioner leaves office this week and will be succeeded by fellow Democrat Ricardo Lara.
Racial and ethnic discrimination in insurance rates has long been forbidden by state law.