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Gay partners may get spousal discounts on car insurance

TOKYO -- Nonlife insurance companies in Japan are considering giving gay couples the same discounts enjoyed by heterosexual married couples for automobile insurance now that some municipalities recognize same-sex partnerships.

     Husband-and-wife pairs who sign up for car insurance receive a discount of almost 10% on their premiums. As early as next year, Tokio Marine & Nichido Insurance, Sompo Japan Nipponkoa Insurance, Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance and other major insurers may extend that discount to those who submit certificates for same-sex partnerships issued by municipalities.

     And consumers who want to change policyholder names to those of their same-sex partners may be able to keep their discount rates, just as spouses in traditional marriages can.

     Currently only Shibuya and Setagaya wards in Tokyo issue the certificates, with Shibuya Ward providing the nation's first in November. An official at a major nonlife insurer said that to ensure fairness, the process of granting discounts to same-sex couples is being considered while closely watching how other municipalities act.


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