Gender disparity in car insurance premiums – who pays the most?

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What is the impact of gender on auto insurance rates?

Consumer websites have already conducted numerous studies comparing quotes from different car insurers to determine the impact of gender on premiums and there has been a widespread finding – that age influences the insurance cost gap between the sexes.

Because a person’s age correlates with driving experience and the risk of being involved in an accident, young drivers often pay the highest auto insurance rates.

Read more: The Best US Auto Insurers in 2022 – A Region-by-Region Breakdown

In its latest price analysis, insurance comparison website The Zebra compared more than 83 million car premiums for every zip code in the United States, using a 30-year-old man who drives a Honda Accord with a full coverage as example profile. The company then adjusted the driver profile differently, based on common pricing factors including gender and age.

The site found that for most age brackets, annual car insurance rates for men and women are nearly the same, with women paying $1,480 per policy, just slightly more than the $1,470 that men pay. Premiums for young drivers, however, tell a different story, with young male motorists paying 14% more per year for cover than their female counterparts.

The chart below shows the cost of auto insurance premiums for teenage and 20-something drivers for both genders based on analysis by The Zebra. Figures are current to August 2022.













Age

Annual bonuses for female drivers

Annual bonus for male drivers

16

$5,969

$6,701

17

$5,014

$5,634

18

$4,483

$5,064

19

$3,486

$3,963

20

$3,189

$3,602

21

$2,891

$2,596

22

$2,416

$2,654

23

$2,478

$2,280

24

$2,169

$2,340

Source: The Zebra

A separate analysis from consumer finance website ValuePenguin, meanwhile, shows how the price gap narrows as drivers age. The company used data from Quadrant Information Services to compare rates for male and female drivers in Indiana, with all sample drivers purchasing a full coverage policy on a 2015 Honda Accord. Full details are also at day in August 2022.








Age

Annual bonuses for female drivers

Annual bonuses for male drivers

Percentage difference

17

$4,618

$4,946

seven%

24

$2,159

$2,277

5.5%

32

$1,831

$1,846

1%

65

$1,364

$1,401

3%

Source: ValuePenguin

Why is car insurance more expensive for men than for women?

The answer to this question is that it all comes down to risk. Statistically, male drivers are more likely to be involved in accidents than female motorists. Figures from the Department for Transport’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS), for example, show that men account for 72% of all car crash deaths in 2020 – the latest data available.

Read more: Revealed – the most and least expensive states for car insurance in 2022

Men typically drive more miles than their female counterparts and are more likely to engage in risky driving behaviors including speeding, driving under the influence (DUI) and not wearing a seatbelt, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

However, not all states allow auto insurance providers to use gender as a rating factor. California, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, North Carolina and Pennsylvania prohibit insurers from considering gender when calculating premiums.

What other factors affect car insurance premiums?

While gender clearly has an impact on car insurance rates, it’s not the most important factor that dictates car insurance prices – that title goes to driving history.

According to ValuePenguin analysis, an at-fault accident drives up car insurance premiums, regardless of gender, by an average of 48%. For female drivers, annual premiums go from $4,618 to $6,854 after an at-fault collision, while premiums for men go from $4,946 to $7,320.

Other factors that affect the cost of car insurance include marital status, residency, car make and model, and credit rating.

Read more: Does the color of the car have an impact on auto insurance rates?

How can motorists save on car insurance premiums?

Regardless of gender, motorists can use a range of practical strategies to reduce car insurance costs. Here are a few:

1. Compare car insurance rates

Because every driver’s profile and circumstances are different, there is no single insurer that can provide the cheapest quotes for everyone. For this reason, the most effective way for motorists to find the lowest possible rate is to compare auto insurance rates. The internet is full of insurance comparison websites that are easily accessible to drivers. Some of these platforms also recommend motorists consider local and regional insurers, as these often have higher customer satisfaction rates and offer cheaper policies compared to the big players.

2. Take advantage of discounts

Auto insurers offer a range of discounts that motorists can take advantage of to lower their annual premiums. Drivers can often take advantage of this via:

  • Consolidation of auto policies with home or tenant insurance
  • Insure multiple vehicles in one policy
  • Maintain a good driving record
  • Full premium payment instead of monthly installments
  • Installation of security and safety functions
  • Take defensive driving lessons
  • Be a member of professional organizations or affiliated groups
  • Maintain good grades for students

3. Ignore unnecessary coverage

Car insurance companies offer a range of coverage options that impact the cost of premiums. Consumer finance websites suggest ditching unnecessary coverage so drivers can lower their rates.

4. Keep a good driving record

Maintaining a good driving record is one of the best ways for motorists to access affordable auto insurance rates. Safe driving discounts vary from insurer to insurer, but generally motorists can benefit from a 10% to 25% reduction in premiums for adopting safe driving practices.

5. Maintain a good credit rating

In most states, insurers use a person’s credit score to calculate premiums. According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), this is done because there is a correlation between a driver’s credit score and the chances of filing claims.

Read more: What motorists need to know about their car insurance score

6. Increase in the deductible amount

A higher deductible means motorists will pay lower premiums. However, it also increases the amount they have to pay before their car insurance kicks in, so policyholders should make sure to keep the value at a level they can afford.

7. Check insurance costs when buying a car

Some cars are more expensive to insure than others. For motorists looking to save on car insurance costs, experts recommend checking out sedans, vans and other family vehicles, as these often have the lowest premiums.

Read more: Revealed – the most and cheapest cars to insure in the US

8. Switch to usage-based or pay-per-mile insurance

According to consumer websites, enrolling in a usage-based insurance (UBI) program is beneficial for drivers who drive less than 10,000 miles each year. This is often done when the insurer installs a telematics device in the vehicle. This device, also known as a black box, tracks driving behavior, allowing motorists to access discounts based on timing, quality and duration of driving.

9. Use public transport

Using public transport reduces driving time, which can also have an impact on premium prices.

10. Shop when it’s time to renew

Auto insurance rates change often so businesses can stay competitive and attract new customers. For this reason, it would be beneficial for motorists to review their policy each time they renew, so they can get the best coverage that matches their current needs at the cheapest price.

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