Huh? Injuries to People with Obesity Matter Less?

A news item from San Antonio has us wondering: do injuries to people with obesity or other chronic diseases matter less?

A young woman and her fiancé were hurt by a driver who ran a red light and totaled her car, according to reporters at the local television station, KSAT. In settling the claim for her injuries, the insurance adjuster informed her attorney that he was reducing her payment downward because “your client’s overweight” and “overweight people don’t heal as fast.” The injured woman had a BMI of 31.9.

While the insurance company, State Farm, did not comment directly on the claim at hand, they did respond to reporters by saying:

If someone files a bodily injury claim against another person, they make their health history and pre-existing conditions pertinent to the evaluation of the value of the claim. State Farm’s obligation is to evaluate and pay what we owe. We evaluate claims fairly every day.

Bottom line, insurance companies will pay the minimum that they must. If they can devalue someone who is not a perfect specimen in their eyes, they will surely do it to save money.

This is the most brazen expression of weight bias we’ve stumbled upon yet.

We have a different view. Every person of every size, gender, shape, and color is a whole person, equally worthy of respect and dignity. The existence of bigotry does not justify its perpetuation.

Click here to read more from KSAT.

Car Meets Fire Hydrant, photograph © Richard Lemarchand / flickr

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