Gender and Auto Insurance Rates
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When your auto insurance provider gives you a quote for your car insurance premiums, they take many factors into account. Some relate to the type of coverage you want, like the range of protections and deductibles. But your car insurance company also considers who you are and what type of driver you'll be.
Driving Habits and Premiums
You have more control over some of these personal factors than others. For example, you have a driving record, which is an important determinate for your car insurance rate. It details any traffic violations or at-fault accidents in your past. The cleaner your record, the safer you will seem to your insurer, leading to a lower premium.
Other Factors in Determining Rates
They also consider how much you use your car, your credit and the type of car you drive. For most, you have some say in these types of factors. You can choose your car's model, how safe you are on the road, whether you have a long commute to work, how much debt you juggle, etc.
However, your car insurance premiums also account for traits you can't really help – age and gender are two such factors.
How Does Gender Impact Your Car Insurance Rates?
Your auto insurer doesn't choose to make decisions based on age and gender arbitrarily. The reason your car insurance company considers your gender is to predict what type of driver you are.
If they believe you are riskier to insure, it'll reflect your car insurance premiums. Safe drivers generally see lower car insurance rates. And, according to some statistics, women are less likely to drive recklessly. Therefore, female car insurance rates tend to be lower.
In contrast, men tend to get in more accidents, including driver-under-the-influence (DUI) related collisions, and more serious ones at that. So, if you're a man, you have a good chance of paying more for your car insurance than your female counterparts. Young drivers pay the highest rates, so it follows that males pay the most of all young drivers.
For example, the Insurance Information Institute (III) regularly reports on data related to highway safety. Pulling from data published by the U.S. Department of Transportation and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), III records a drastic difference in the number of male drivers in fatal crashes versus females. The Institute's highway safety statistic page documents 36,744 male drivers involved in fatal crashes during the year 2019. In comparison, 12,825 female drivers were involved in fatal crashes during the same year.
It's important to note that both groups include drivers over the age of 15.
In addition, the NHTSA puts out its own reports on a yearly basis. Their Traffic Safety Facts 2018 data analysis published in 2020 continues the same gendered trend. In 2018, male drivers exceeded female drivers by 385,000 in injury crashes and by 1,212,000 in property-damage only crashes.
With these kinds of numbers, men seem like a riskier group to insure. Because of their higher likelihood for collisions and dangerous driving, male drivers can become more expensive to insure. Therefore, to compensate for any possible future claims costs, insurance companies raise insurance premiums for men based on their gender.
A Deeper Dive into Car Insurance Rates for Men vs. Women
It may look like the numbers are stacked against men and female drivers pay less. So, it might be tempting to simplify gender's impact on your car insurance rates. But the truth is always more complicated than we expect.
While identifying as a man has the potential to increase your premium, it depends on your situation.
For example, where you live can affect whether your car insurance company considers gender. As of this article's publish date, seven states ban using gender as a factor in determining car insurance: California, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, North Carolina and Pennsylvania. And the practice is still under scrutiny elsewhere. In particular, consumers often feel like it's a practice based on discrimination.
It would be easier for people to accept gender's impact on car insurance rates if there was a reason for it. Or if every insurer followed the same pricing rules. But according to the Insurance Journal, multiple car insurance companies in California were examined before the state banned using gender for car insurance ratings.
When the California insurance department looked at how gender factored in, there was no consistency across the corporations. Sometimes women pay more than similarly positioned men, and sometimes they don't. In the same vein, you won't find a rule of thumb anywhere across the U.S. As a result, how much gender statistics influence your rate depends more on the insurer than on data.
Men vs. Women: Car Insurance Rates
You don't receive one permanent premium price because of your gender. Rates fluctuate all the time, especially insurance rates by age.
Anyone who has a history of holding car insurance has seen their costs shift throughout the years. For example, consider the prices changes made to your own policy over time.
When you first purchased car insurance from them, you might have lived in a safe area, drove very little, and had no previous traffic violations. Back then, your car insurance premium was probably cheaper. But then it came time to renew your policy. Maybe you got into an at-fault collision and started commuting to work, increasing the amount you drive, at some point. So, your premium increased to compensate for those new risks.
Likewise, the cost of your insurance coverage for your policy will change.
Statista claims that young men face much higher insurance costs in the U.S. than women of the same age. The national average car insurance rates for 18-year-old male vary but usually the rate is approximately $7,762 for their yearly premium. In contrast, the average car insurance rates for an 18-year-old female varies as well but tends to hover around $7,030. Part of that is because young male drivers are more likely to speed or otherwise drive recklessly than their female counterparts.
The difference in rates can change drastically as both groups age. The Pew Charitable Trusts 2019 data studied auto insurance premium costs according to gender and three age groups: 20, 40, and 60.
Despite male drivers' tendency towards collisions, women in both the 40- and 60-year-old age groups experience increased premiums. Sometimes the difference was as low as 1% and as high as 16%.
So, young male drivers may deal with high premiums at the start of their driving careers. However, over time, women pay more on average as they age. So, you can see that age and gender play a big role in insurance rates.
Ways All Drivers Can Lower Auto Insurance Rates
Filing insurance claims for an at-fault accident raises your premium rate across the insurance industry for male and female drivers alike so avoid an accident at all cost.
Regardless of gender, you should also work toward affordable car insurance premiums by doing the following:
Compare Car Insurance Companies
Each insurance company offers different auto insurance rates. So, comparing the various prices available to you can help you find cheap car insurance rates. There is no limit to how many policy quotes you should aim to collect. However, you want to ensure there is enough variety in your options. By having a few available, you have a better chance of finding one that fits your needs and budget. A good minimum to start with is around three quotes.
You can call the insurer directly to ask for an estimate but be sure to check the company's reputation before purchasing a policy. Or, you can let SmartFinancial compare rates from top insurers for you for free. Just enter your zip code on this page to get started.
Consider Insurance While Car Shopping
Just like people can be more or less expensive to insure, so are cars. The type of car you purchase factors into the overall price of your policy. So, before you make the jump, investigate the possible car insurance rates.
There are several characteristics that a company looks at before insuring your car. Some of the factors they look at include the age of the car, its price, possible future repair costs, its general safety, and the potential for risks like theft. If you are still shopping for vehicles, think about the risks an insurer would see.
Request a Higher Deductible
A deductible is the amount of money you pay before your car insurance policy begins covering expenses. By raising your deductible, you have to pay more before that financial help kicks in. While that means you need more money on hand in case of an accident or claim, it can lower premium costs significantly.
For example, say you have the option of a low deductible at $500 or a higher deductible at $1,000. Your car insurer has to cover more in the case of an accident or claim when you have a low deductible. To compensate for that increase, you pay more in monthly premium payments.
Keep in mind: always review your financial situation before adjusting your deductible. Only choose what you can reasonably cover on your own.
You may not be able to adjust your deductible, but there are other ways you can change your policy to lower costs. One method involves reviewing your current range of coverages and coverage limits.
For example, you may own and drive an old car model. In that case, it might be worth your while to drop full coverage insurance (collision coverage and comprehensive coverage) on the vehicle. A rule of thumb recommended by the III asks if your aged car is worth at least 10 times the auto premium. If not, then holding on to expensive additional coverages could hurt your bottom line.
Remember: you purchase coverage to protect yourself, property, passengers and other motorists on the road. Accidents are unpredictable, and millions of drivers are uninsured, so you may never know when a certain coverage, like uninsured motorist coverage, will come in handy. Speak to your insurance agent for the safest options when changing your policy's protections to reduce costs.
Bundle Your Insurance Policies
Many car insurance companies offer multiple types of insurance. Customers can purchase multiple policies from them, such as homeowners and auto, or purchase a life insurance policy.
If you purchase your various insurance policies from the same insurer, they may offer you a discount. Multi-policy discounts vary between each company, though. So, compare opportunities to save when you shop for your next provider.
See If You Qualify for Group Insurance
Some car insurance providers offer a group insurance plan to their clients. Essentially, if you work for certain businesses or belong to specific associations, like an alumni group, then you might be able to get on a group insurance plan.
Ask the clubs or associations you belong to as well as your employer to see if there are group policies available to you.
Explore Discount Options
Another way to find cheap car insurance rates is to explore discounts. Car insurance companies offer a wide selection of discounts to their policyholders. You may not qualify for all of them, but there is usually a lot of variety. That means you will probably find at least one that can help you save on your premium.
For example, young drivers are generally expensive to insure. This is because they have no prior insurance history and tend to make hasty decisions out on the road. But, car insurance companies offer opportunities like good student discounts for high schoolers and college attendees based on their grades.
Sometimes there are also discounts when you take a defensive driving course. If you fall into this target area, then these choices might help you lower your premium.
If you want to know which discounts suit you, talk to your car insurance agent. They can walk you through your options and help you maximize your savings.
Work on Your Credit Record
Auto insurers don't generally use your credit score to generate car insurance rates. Instead, they use something called your credit record. It tracks financial information related to you, like credit accounts, payment history, debts, bankruptcies, liens, and more.
Establishing and maintaining a solid credit record, or history, can reduce your car insurance rates.
Three states ban the use of your credit score by auto insurance companies to determine rates: California, Hawaii, and Massachusetts. Other areas in the U.S. restrict the practice. So, ask your potential insurer what factors they use to
Work Towards a Clean Driving Record
There is one mainstay way to improve your auto insurance rate – work on your driving history. It never hurts to sharpen your skills or examine any bad habits you picked up.
To improve your driving history and achieve a clean driving record, a driving course is always a valuable option. Plus, if you find one backed by your car insurance company, you may earn savings.
There are in car devices, too, that monitor driving for hard braking habits and speeding. You can even earn a discount by opting for a telematics-based policy if you are a good driver.
But more than anything, it's important to reevaluate how responsibly you drive. By keeping yourself accountable, you ensure not only your own protection but everyone else's on the road.
Pay Lower Car Insurance Premiums
If you compare insurance rates by age you'll see that young drivers struggle with the highest car insurance premiums as well as seniors. But Age and gender are not the only factors that affect drivers. Clean driving records help to save money but most insurance companies also factor in zip codes. Enter your zip code on this page for free car insurance quotes.