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Should CA end using occupation as one factor for cheaper auto insurance?




Traffic is seen backed up on westbound Interstate 80 approaching a closed section of  Interstate 580 April 30, 2007 in Emeryville, California.
Traffic is seen backed up on westbound Interstate 80 approaching a closed section of Interstate 580 April 30, 2007 in Emeryville, California.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

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Consumer Watchdog, the Santa Monica-based consumer rights organization, wants the California Department of Insurance to stop allowing companies to offer auto insurance discounts based on someone’s occupation.  

The group charges that the practice is discriminatory, because discounts are generally given to those in more “elite” professions like lawyers and engineers. Those in lower-skilled professions, Consumer Watchdog says, are hit with higher insurance rates as a result.

Auto insurers say this type of insurance discounts actually doesn't raise rates on other consumers. The state Department of Insurance told the L.A. Times that it’s looking into the issue.

Guests:

Mark Sektnan, president of the Association of California Insurance Companies (ACIC), an advocacy organization

Jonathan Phenix, staff attorney at Consumer Watchdog, a consumer rights organization that has filed the complaint