Triangle: Agent fights for policy inclusiveness
Updated: April 10, 2014 at 5:20 pm
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CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — State Farm Insurance agent Pam Herndon has achieved a first for policy writing in North Carolina.
After much tenacity over a six-month period, she was able to secure multi-auto insurance for a married, same-sex couple living in the Tar Heel State. Herndon said that state law required that cars be titled, registered and insured in the same name, unless married. She scanned in the couple’s marriage license into the agency’s system. Initially, State Farm said no because North Carolina does not recognize same-sex marriages. Patience was rewarded when State Farm relented and said it would acknowledge any marriage certificate, as well as give the policy holders all the discounts and privileges that all married couples receive.
A straight ally, Herndon felt that it was the right thing to do to secure recognition for same-sex couples and insurance policies. She has been happily married for over 40 years, she said. She also shared that she grew up with a gay brother and saw his struggles with inequality.
“I have always felt one’s sexuality shouldn’t be a factor in any benefits given in any situation,” Herndon said. “State Farm’s motto is ‘like a Good Neighbor.’ I know that is cliché, but I work with a company who lives that motto and expects its agents and associates to do the same. I am so proud of State Farm’s position on this and I really appreciate my clients who patiently waited so we could make this change in company policy.”
Chris Sgro, Equality North Carolina executive director, shared that “Herndon’s story illustrates once again that North Carolina’s business community can make significant strides for equality in our state and beyond.”
Herndon holds Chartered Life Underwriter, Chartered Financial Consultant and Life Underwriter Training Council Fellow credentials.
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About the author: Lainey Millen is QNotes' associate editor, special assignments writer, N.C. News columnist and production director. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and 704-531-9988, x205.