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Which Gender Pays More for Car Insurance?

By John Miceli

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Car insurance is the best way to financially protect yourself and others on the road. Without it, you’d be stuck paying for vehicle repairs, medical bills, and property damage for yourself and others if you got in an accident.

How much you pay for car insurance is affected by a variety of factors – some you can control and some you can’t. One factor, gender, is particularly interesting.

The possibility that you can be charged more just for being a man or a woman sounds hard to believe. But, some differences in car insurance rates between males and females do exist. Let’s take a deeper look at which gender pays more for car insurance and why.

Which Gender Pays More for Car Insurance?

Men pay more for car insurance than women when they’re young, from about age 16 to 25, while women pay slightly more from 26 to about 40. After that, the difference in auto rates between the genders is negligible.

So, the widespread belief that males pay more for auto insurance is partially right. But, as with everything, it isn’t a completely accurate reflection. Young men do tend to have higher premiums than young women, but the difference slowly diminishes as they get older.

For example, for minimum liability coverage, the average 20-year-old male driver may pay $1,236 per year for car insurance, while a 20-year-old female pays $1,114. When these two drivers get to age 24, the man pays $739, while the woman pays $709.

Car insurance drops for both genders in the middle ages, but it drops slightly more for men than it does for women. Then, average premium costs tend to rise again as both genders get into their 60s and 70s when they become seniors. Older drivers have slower reactions and have a greater chance of sustaining a serious injury in an accident, making them riskier to cover.

While how much each gender pays varies by company and state, the difference between genders is usually always the greatest in their teens and early 20s.

Liability vs Full Coverage

The amount of coverage you get is a huge influence on car insurance rates. Liability limits vary by state, but young men tend to pay more for both liability coverage and full coverage than young women when they’re young.

Liability coverage is the type that’s legally required in most places in America. It protects other drivers on the road financially in case you cause an accident. Each state has its own minimum requirements for property damage and bodily injury liability amounts. While opting for the minimum amount of liability insurance in your state is likely the cheapest option, it probably isn’t the safest.

Full coverage is a term used to describe types of auto insurance that protect your vehicle. It typically includes collision and comprehensive coverage. Collision coverage protects your car in case of an accident, whether you’re at fault or not. Comprehensive coverage safeguards your vehicle from the damage it can sustain outside of a crash, like theft, vandalism, and damage from natural disasters

Male vs Female Car Insurance Rates

Car insurance is more expensive for young men because historically young men get in more accidents, get more tickets, and get more DUIs than young women. This may be because they’re inexperienced and they’re driving late at night relatively often.

Insurance is based on calculating risk. Since the above scenarios indicate young men are more likely to file a claim, they get charged higher premiums to offset the increased financial risk the insurer is taking on by covering them.

But, gender is a very small factor in the many that providers use to determine auto insurance rates. Several others, like location, age, how much you drive, claims and accident history, and what coverage you want all play a much bigger role than gender.

Why women may pay more in their 30s and 40s isn’t exactly clear. It could be because they’re more likely to be driving with a kid in the car. This increases their chances of driving distracted and increases the risk factor if they get into an accident. But, women likely don’t pay more simply because they’re women; the combination of many different factors contributes to what they pay.

Nevertheless, some states don’t like gender playing a part in car insurance rates at all. Seven states – Hawaii, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, California, Michigan and Montana – have passed laws that prohibit the use of gender as a factor in auto insurance rating. 

Car Insurance Rates for Women

Two recent studies have confirmed that middle-aged women paying more for car insurance is common throughout the country. In 2017, the Consumer Federation of America found that in 58% of the instances in which companies used gender to adjust car insurance rates, 40- and 60-year-old women faced higher premiums and were penalized more often. They gathered over 100 quotes from some of the biggest auto insurance carriers in the nation.

More recently, in 2021, Yahoo! Finance reported that women pay slightly more for car insurance on average than men overall, but they pay noticeably more in 21 states and Washington, D.C.

To be sure you’re getting the most affordable rate you can, it’s crucial to compare quotes from different providers when shopping for car insurance. It’s the best and only way to see how different companies can offer the coverage you need at a price that works for you.

At Clovered, we live to make this easy. Our goal is to simplify the insurance process and get you covered sufficiently with our online quote tool.

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The editorial content on Clovered’s website is meant to be informational material and should not be considered legal advice.