When it comes to car insurance, you may have heard that women pay less than men. For the most part, this is true. It may not sound fair but the insurance industry has its reasons and we’re here to explain them to you in black and white. This way, regardless of your gender, you can take measures to save money on your insurance.
Girls v.s. Boys
According to Esurance, the average woman pays less than the average man for car insurance. Why? There are a couple of gender factors that insurers take into consideration when determining your premium, namely driving statistics and the type of car you drive. When it comes to gender, women are generally considered safer drivers than men. That’s because women usually drive less than men and have fewer accidents and DUIs. When it comes to insurance, this means less risk and less risk means lower insurance rates. Let’s take a look at three major driving categories that insurers look at when considering risk and rates: accidents, speeding and DUI convictions.
Statistically speaking, women have fewer car accidents than men and this means insurance companies pay out fewer claims for women, according to Esurance and the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. To boot, men tend to go sans seat belts more than women — leading to a higher risk for serious injuries and thus elevated insurance payouts. In fact, more men than women die every year in car crashes, according to The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. In a nutshell, the better your driving record, the less you’ll pay for insurance so it’s imperative to take safety precautions regardless of your gender.
Speeding tickets are a red flag for risk. Higher risk equals higher insurance premiums. With this said, you’ll definitely want to drive within the speed limit as speeding tickets will raise your insurance rates. Although speeding is a safety issue for everyone, men tend to be involved in more speeding-related accidents than women. And this is yet another reason why men pay more for insurance.
DUIs will increase your insurance premiums, sometimes drastically. By and large, men have more DUI convictions than women and this has resulted in women paying less for insurance. In 2013, for example, the FBI reported that 536,202 men were arrested for DUIs, more than three times the 174,149 women arrested for the same offense, according to Esurance.
Gender isn't the most important factor
When it comes to how much you pay for insurance, you can rest assured that your gender takes a backseat to your driving record. So, a man who has fewer accidents than a women will generally pay less for insurance. Also, once you’re older than 25, the playing field tends to level out in terms of insurance costs. This is because older men tend to exhibit safer driving habits than their younger counterparts.
Additionally, the car you drive matters — not just for show but in terms of how much you’ll pay for insurance. Men tend to drive more expensive cars to insure than women do. In general, smaller and mid-sized SUVs and minivans are among the least expensive vehicles to insure and these cars are more popular choices for female drivers.
Gender neutral states
If you’re a man living in these three states — Massachusetts, Hawaii or North Carolina — you’re in luck. Insurance companies in these states are not allowed to take your gender into consideration when determining how much you’ll pay for insurance.
As far as Massachusetts goes, women don’t pay less than men, says Aimee Goddard, vice president of Eastern Insurance Group in Natick, Ma. Your rates in the Bay State will be based on your driving record, vehicle year, make and model of your car, and the coverage you choose, says Goddard.