The Senate Insurance Committee voted against legislation today that would prohibit insurance companies from using a driver’s gender, credit score rating or whether they are a widow in determining auto insurance rates. Alexandria Senator Jay Luneau argued credit score has nothing to do with a person’s driving record.

“If a person has been driving for 20, 30 or 40 years and they’ve never had a ticket or never had an accident, why just because they have credit, do we increse their rates?” said Luneau.

Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon opposed Luneau’s legislation. Donelon says the bills will not lead to lower rates, which are among the highest in the nation.

“If we pass the bill we will be ranked exactly where we are today, we will pay to insurance companies the same exact amount of money,” said Donelon.

Women who have lost their husbands are frustrated to see their rates go up after their spouse dies. But Donelon defended the reason on why that happens.

“They’re driving more because they no longer have a spouse that they are sharing the driving with and  because of that, yes there is an incremental increase in the cost,” said Donelon.

Luneau did score one victory today. The Senate Insurance Committee approved his bill that prohibits insurance providers from setting a rate based on whether a person in the military is deployed for more than six months.

“I’m glad to find out that the Commissioner (Donelon) supports my bill, he apparently likes veterans more than women and poor people,” said Luneau.

The bill that prevents higher rates for deployed soldiers heads to the Senate floor for more discussion.

(Story written by Jeff Palermo/Louisiana Radio Network)