Penn Insurer Settles Discrimination Claims

October 15, 2001

Phildelphia-United Life Insurance Co. of Bala Cynwyd has reached agreement with the Pennsylvania Insurance Dept. over claims of discrimination lodged by African-American policyholders and their families that the company charged black persons higher premiums on its life and burial policies than whites.

The existing holders of policies written between 1933 and 1948 alleged that they continued to pay higher rates following passage in 1974 of a law prohibiting setting premium rates by race. Some 23,000 people, policyholders and their survivors, sought compensation for the discrimination.

Philadelphia United has agreed, without admitting that there was any wrongdoing on its part, to reimburse the group an average of $50. It will also pay the PID $250,000 to compensate for its failure to increase benefits to blacks in Pennsylvania on the same policies.

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