Gender Gaps in Car Insurance Premiums – Who Pays More?

How does gender affect car insurance rates?

Consumer websites have already conducted numerous studies comparing quotes from different car insurance providers to find out what impact gender has on premiums, and the overwhelming finding is that age affects the gender gap in insurance costs.

Because a person’s age correlates with driving experience and risk of getting into an accident, young drivers often pay the highest car insurance rates.

Read more: America’s Best Auto Insurers in 2022 – Breakdown by Region

In its most recent price analysis, insurance comparison website The Zebra compared more than 83 million car premiums in every US zip code, using a 30-year-old male Honda Accord driver with full coverage as a sample profile. The company then adjusts the driver’s profile differently, based on common pricing factors that include gender and age.

The site found that for most age groups, annual car insurance rates for men and women were about the same, with women paying $1,480 per policy, slightly more than the $1,470 men paid. However, premiums for young drivers tell a different story, with younger male drivers paying 14% more per year for cover than their female counterparts.

The table below shows how much car insurance premiums cost for teenagers and 20-year-old drivers for both genders, based on The Zebra’s analysis. Figures are current as of August 2022.

Age

Annual premiums for female drivers

Annual premium for male drivers

16

$5,969

6701 dollars

17

5014 dollars

5,634 dollars

18

4483 dollars

5064 dollars

19

3486 dollars

3963 dollars

20

3189 dollars

3602 dollars

21

2,891 dollars

2596 dollars

22

2416 dollars

2654 dollars

23

2478 dollars

2280 dollars

24

2169 dollars

2340 dollars

Source: Zebra

Meanwhile, a separate analysis by consumer finance website ValuePenguin shows how the price gap narrows as drivers age. The firm used data from Quadrant Information Services to compare rates for male and female drivers in Indiana, with all sample drivers purchasing a comprehensive coverage policy for a 2015 Honda Accord. All details are also current as of August 2022.

Age

Annual premiums for women drivers

Annual premiums for male drivers

Percentage difference

17

4618 dollars

$4,946

7%

24

2159 dollars

2277 dollars

5.5%

32

1831 dollars

1846 dollars

1%

65

1364 dollars

1401 dollars

3%

Source: ValuePenguin

Why does car insurance cost more for men than 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. Data from the Department of Transportation’s Fatality Analysis System (FARS), for example, shows that men accounted for 72 percent of all car crash deaths in 2020, the most recent data available.

Read more: 2022 Top and Cheapest Auto Insurance States Revealed

Men also typically drive more miles than their female counterparts and are more likely to practice risky driving, including speeding, driving under the influence (DUI) and not wearing seat belts, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

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

What other factors affect car insurance premiums?

While gender obviously has an impact on car insurance rates, it is not the biggest factor that dictates car insurance rates – that headline refers to driving history.

In ValuePenguin’s analysis, an at-fault accident raises car insurance premiums, regardless of gender, by as much as 48% on average. For female drivers, annual rates rose from $4,618 to $6,854 after an at-fault collision, while premiums for men rose from $4,946 to $7,320.

Other factors that affect the cost of auto coverage include marital status, residence, car make and model, and credit score.

Read more: Does car color affect car insurance rates?

How can drivers save on car insurance premiums?

Regardless of gender, drivers can use a range of practical strategies to reduce car insurance costs. Here are some of them:

1. Compare car insurance prices

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

2. Taking advantage of discounts

Car insurance providers offer a range of discounts that drivers can take advantage of to lower their annual premiums. Drivers can often take advantage of these by:

  • Bundling auto policies with homeowners or renters insurance
  • Insuring multiple vehicles in one policy
  • Maintaining a clean driving record
  • Pay premiums in full instead of monthly installments
  • Installing security and safety features
  • Taking defensive driving courses
  • Be a member of professional organizations or peer groups
  • Maintaining good student grades

3. Skipping unnecessary coverage

Car insurance companies offer a range of coverage options that affect how much premiums will cost. Consumer finance websites offer to drop unnecessary coverage so drivers can lower rates.

4. Maintaining clean driving

Maintaining a clean driving record is among the best ways for drivers to access affordable auto insurance rates. Safe driving discounts vary between insurance providers, but typically motorists can get between 10% and 25% off their premiums for adopting safe driving practices.

5. Maintaining a good credit rating

In most states, insurers use a person’s credit score when calculating 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 making claims.

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

6. Increasing the amount of the deductible

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

7. Checking 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-friendly vehicles, as they often have the lowest premiums.

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

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

According to consumer websites, enrolling in a usage-based insurance (UBI) program benefits drivers who drive less than 10,000 miles each year. This is often done by the insurer installing a telematics device in the car. Also called a black box, this device tracks driving behavior, allowing drivers to access discounts based on when, how well and how much they drive.

9. Use of public transport

Using mass transit reduces how much a person drives their vehicle, which can also have an impact on premium prices.

10. Shopping when it’s time to renew

Car insurance rates change frequently so that companies can stay competitive and gain new customers. Therefore, it would be beneficial for drivers to review their policies each time they renew so that they can get the best coverage that suits their current needs at the lowest cost.

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