When Women Pay More, We All Win

Printed from: http://newbostonpost.com/2018/01/18/when-women-pay-more-we-all-win/

A bill in the Massachusetts Legislature would force insurance companies to offer the same rates to women for disability insurance that men get.

Sound fair?

What if we told you that women are 50 percent more likely to make a disability claim than men? Or that their claims cost double what men’s claims cost between ages 30 and 40?

Why the difference? It isn’t pregnancy, which doesn’t count as a disability for insurance purposes.

Insurance company representatives wouldn’t say why when they testified before the state House of Representatives’ Financial Services Committee on Tuesday, probably trying to avoid saying something un-PC. Other sources say that women develop disabling conditions such as arthritis more than men, are more likely to go to a doctor, and are more likely to file a claim. Men are more likely to avoid the doctor, keep working, and die.

Speaking of which, what if we made the same equal-premiums rule for life insurance? Women live longer than men, on average. So the actuarial tables suggest they should pay lower premiums than men, because men are more likely to keel over sooner and leave a hefty death benefit. Should insurance companies be allowed to charge women less than men for life insurance? Or is that unfair?

In the case of disability insurance it’s the opposite. Women file more claims that cost more money.

Starting to understand why women pay more for it?

State Representative Ruth Balser (D-Newton) think she understands why.

“We think it’s discrimination. We think it’s bigotry,” Balser said Tuesday.

We think it’s math.

Or is math itself unfair?

If so, in for a penny, in for a pound. Because here’s some more math:  An insurance representative told legislators that if they’re forced to offer men and women the same premiums, then everybody’s premiums will go up.

Balser told State House News Service she can’t understand how that makes sense.

But we can. Insurance companies aren’t in the business of losing money. They worship morbidity tables, which have actuarial calculations showing the likelihood of disability by sex, age, health, and occupation. If they can get customers to pay enough in premiums to more than cover the amount of claims they have to pay out, they ensure that they’ll make money.

If they have to start charging men and women the same amounts for disability insurance because the Massachusetts Legislature forces them to, it will upset the actuarial calculations. So they’ll play it safe. They’ll just overcharge all their customers to make sure the insurance companies don’t lose out.

Isn’t that the Massachusetts Democratic Party in a nutshell? Insist on an arbitrary standard of “fairness” while everyone gets shafted.

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