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Insurance benefits extended to same sex partners

Photo of Karen Lavin

Non-married couples are often left out of many programs that provide financial incentives to married couples -- even when the couple is in a committed relationship. This is especially true for same sex couples even though in many cases same sex partners are unable to legally marry. For example, a same sex couple cannot file joint federal taxes and take advantage of the reduced tax rates.

In Illinois, same sex partners do have the option of becoming domestic partners. This option allows couples to have some of the same state rights granted to married heterosexual couples. But domestic partnership does not dictate how private companies or the federal government must recognize these couples.

While the federal government continues to debate same sex marriage, some private companies are recognizing married homosexual couples. Esurance.com, the private online insurance affiliate of Allstate Insurance, recently extended benefits to same sex couples that have traditionally only been given to married couples.

These benefits come in the form of reduced insurance premiums. Married couples generally have premiums that are 10 percent lower than single people. Now, same sex couples will be able to take advantage of this important financial benefit.

Originally, the company extended these benefits to only a select number of states, including Illinois, where same sex marriage or domestic partnerships were allowed. However, Esurance.com recently announced that the benefits extend to same sex couples in all states where it does business. This includes states that have banned same sex marriage and those that do not acknowledge same sex couples.

This is a big step in the right direction for same sex partners. Hopefully other businesses will follow suit and same sex couples can reap the all the benefits of a married couple.

Source: Forbes, "More Same-Sex Couples Qualifying For 'Married' Car-Insurance Discounts," Jim Gorzelany, July 2, 2012

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