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New Jersey: Higher Insurance Rates for Blue Collar Workers
Geico charges janitors 70 percent more than it charges lawyers for car insurance in New Jersey.

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Geico insurance charges more to insure the automobiles of customers who have a lower occupational status or educational background. In a February 2004 document entitled "Geico Auto Group Guide to Company Placement," the insurer explains how "unskilled and semi-skilled blue- and gray-collar workers" are more of a risk and should be charged higher rates accordingly.

"Risks who have achieved at least a high school diploma or its equivalent are more favorable than those without a high school education," the document explains. "Bachelors, masters and other advanced degrees are considered most favorable."

The New Jersey Star-Ledger compared the rates of a 30-year-old single male from Newark and found if he were a lawyer with a master's degree he'd pay $1686 a year. If he were a high school educated janitor, he would pay $2880 -- 70 percent more.

New Jersey law allows insurance companies to determine rates by factors with a proven relationship to losses. The law prohibits charging based on certain factors such as race and ethnicity.

Geico is the number four insurer in New Jersey with 475,000 customers.

Source: Geico's two rates: white-collar and blue-collar (New Jersey Star-Ledger, 2/27/2006)

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