The gender gap is highly talked about in everything from wages to the price of razors. In general, women pay a “pink tax” on supplies marketed directly towards them, and also earn almost 20 percent less on average than their male peers.
But there’s one area in which it pays to be a woman, and that’s when it comes to car insurance premiums.
A 2015 study conducted by NerdWallet found that men pay, on average, 3 percent more in car insurance premiums than women do—and in their 20s, up to 27 percent more!
While this statistic may seem overwhelming, especially if you are a male in their 20s, do not despair. Thankfully, your car insurance quote has very little to do with your gender by itself.
Why Men Generally Pay More
Everything in insurance is dictated by lots of math: risk probabilities, percentages, and past accident data. The simple fact is that men often cost more to purchase car insurance for because men, statistically, cause more accidents (and thus cost insurance companies more in claims payouts) than women do.
The Risk Factors Insurance Companies Consider
Age: Particularly young and particularly old drivers cause more to insure. Younger drivers are less experienced than middle-aged ones and thus get into accidents more frequently. Older drivers, even those with spotless driving records, often have degenerating eyesight and reaction times, which makes driving more dangerous. Young men in particular statistically cause more accidents than women do, and men under 25 are less likely to wear seat belts and tend to drive faster than their older or female peers.
This means that young men will likely pay much more than young women for car insurance.
Accident Frequency: Men are more likely the cause of accidents than women are. The more accidents you cause, the costlier it is for insurance companies to cover the damages you cause, and thus the higher your premiums will be.
If you’re a stellar, safe driver who has never had an accident, you are unlikely to be charged extra for being a man.
Make and Model of Your Vehicle: because men often purchase faster sports cars more than women do, their premiums may be higher as a result. Cars that are designed to go fast and accelerate quickly cost more to insure because they are more often involved in street racing and costly accidents. If you are a man that drives a safe and sensible vehicle, you are unlikely to pay more in premiums than a woman would.
Marriage Status: If you are married, you form a bond with another person—a bond that makes you think twice before you engage in a risky driving behavior. Because of this, married persons usually pay less for car insurance than their unmarried peers do.
Both Genders Should Agree: Don’t Drink and Drive You already know that getting behind the wheel when you’ve had a few drinks is a terrible idea. For one, it’s illegal. But it’s also the cause of a ton of accidents. Almost one-third of all deaths from car accidents in the United States are caused by an impaired driver, costing the country, and insurance companies, over $44 billion.
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, nearly twice as many males as females get into fatal accidents because of alcohol blood contents that are over the legal limit.
Ways to Narrow the Gender Gap
Be a Safe Driver: The best way to narrow the gender gap is to be a safe driver and prove your “risklessness” to the insurance company. If you are a young male driver, ask about discounts for good grades or for short-term accident history—some companies offer a premium reduction for every six month period you are accident-free.
Don’t Buy the Bare Minimum
A sure sign to insurers that you are going to be a risky driver is purchasing the absolute minimum required coverage mandated by your state. If you do so, you will be seen as a riskier driver, and ironically charged more in the long run.
Ultimately, the gender gap in insurance premiums is much smaller than the gap between safe and unsafe drivers. If you prove that you are a safe driver, you’ll pay less in premiums in the long run, regardless of the number of x chromosomes you have.