DEFINITION of 'Unisex Legislation'

A statutory law that prohibits insurance companies from taking into consideration gender when developing insurance classifications, rates or types of coverage for certain types of insurance. When unisex legislation applies, all people, regardless of gender, must be give the same rates and types of coverage. Not all types of insurance fall under unisex legislation. For example, most men pay higher rates than women for identical automobile insurance coverage.

BREAKING DOWN 'Unisex Legislation'

In 1978, the United States Supreme Court first prohibited gender-based divisions in insurance in City of Los Angeles, Department of Water and Power v. Manhart. In 1983, the courts again prohibited gender-based insurance distinctions in Arizona Governing Committee for Tax Deferred Annuity and Deferred Compensation Plans v. Norris. Insurance companies have resisted any legislation that would restrict their ability to use gender-based distinctions in developing insurance classifications, rates and coverages.

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