On June 26, the United States Supreme Court determined that same-sex marriage was lawful throughout the country regardless of former state laws. This was a monumental announcement for civil rights and equality in America, and the reverberations will be felt through many veins of society, even in the auto insurance industry.
This bill has major financial implications that affect same-sex couples, and compared to many areas, the auto insurance impact is minimal. However, the industry has a history of being progressive, and has shown its support of such legislation in the past. Esurance has been ahead of the competition with respect to marriage equality, presenting its #EqualDreams campaign about one week prior to the SCOTUS decision. The campaign included a commercial in which kids explain how excited they are for their wedding day, contrasted with gay and lesbian people discussing how important the idea of marriage is to them. As part of the campaign, Esurance offered homosexual partners the ability to be insured on the same policy for the same rate as heterosexual married couples, even in states that didn’t recognize the union.
Esurance #EqualDreams Page
This is a prime example of how the auto insurance industry is socially progressive, with Esurance leading the charge in this case. While possibly driven by the capitalistic recognition of a potential market inefficiency, that doesn’t change the impact of the campaign and its promotion of social equality.
Even though Esurance was ahead of the competition, the Supreme Court’s ruling nullified the financial advantage of its offering. The implications of this ruling are quite large even among the auto insurance industry. A study conducted by Online Auto Insurance determined that the total amount of money that same-sex couples could save annually on auto insurance exceeds $10 million.
Auto Insurance Stats for Same-Sex Couples Pre-Obergefell v. Hodges Ruling
While same-sex couples could have gone to Esurance, now they are equal members of the marketplace who are not legally limited by their choice of insurer. For most, the discounts will not be life-altering, but for some they may help significantly.
The importance of this decision goes way beyond auto insurance, as same-sex couples revel in the feeling of simply being equal under the eyes of the law. In Rockdale, Georgia, Kim Smith was able to marry her partner of 23 years, Angela Croy. While describing how important the SCOTUS ruling was to her, Smith explained, “Now I can call my auto insurance company and say I’m married. I can get that little bit of a discount. It’s the little, small stuff that people take for granted every day that we weren’t afforded the right to have.” Croy added, “We’re no longer second-class citizens.”