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Sex Discrimination

Definition of "Sex discrimination"

Classification of insured life and health risks based on the sex of the proposed insured. Gender has long been one of many factors in classifying, accepting, and rating risks. For example, because experience shows that women live longer than men, life insurance rates for women are lower. By the same token, annuity payments are lower for women because it is expected that they will be paid out for more years. On the other hand, women have sometimes paid lower rates for auto insurance. Insurance rating by sex became an issue in the early 1980s when many women charged that it was discriminatory. They demanded through unisex legislation to be rated no differently. Although insurers have resisted it, individual states have passed laws prohibiting the use of sex in risk classification.

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