Your Guide to Gender-Neutral Auto Insurance
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More and more states are adopting laws where the use of gender is prohibited when insurance companies are setting rates for consumers. So how does this impact male and female drivers, as well as auto insurance premiums?
Plus, according to the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law, more than 1.2 million people in the United States identify as non-binary individuals. So, how do auto insurance companies calculate premiums for gender-fluid and non-binary drivers?
Keep reading to learn more about gender-neutral car insurance, including which states are gender-neutral and how auto insurance companies go about setting rates for non-binary drivers.
And if you live in a state with gender-neutral options for auto insurance, it may be time to compare quotes. Enter your ZIP code below to get started.
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What Is Gender-Neutral Car Insurance?
Gender-neutral car insurance does not use gender-based pricing to help auto insurance companies determine available coverage and rates. During the application process, it also provides non-binary gender options or not having to select between male or female.
Currently, 17 states plus Washington D.C. prohibit the use of gender as a rating factor.
The first state to implement gender-neutral insurance regulation was Montana in 1985, awarding the same rates and coverage to male and female drivers regardless of gender. Soon after, other states like Wyoming followed suit with similar regulations requiring insurers to apply blended rates.
How Do Auto Insurers Assess Rates for Non-Binary Drivers?
Each auto insurance company assesses rates based on available gender market options.
Not all auto insurers provide gender-neutral options, forcing non-binary individuals to select between male and female. As a result, rates taking effect will be based on that demographic and how it performs relative to others within the same ZIP code.
Each auto insurer calculates its rates for non-binary drivers differently. Auto insurers that do recognize genderless/non-binary status may decide to “average out” the male/female rating or assign a lower gender-rating category.
Which States Require Auto Insurers to Provide Gender-Neutral Options?
Every state has different policies when it comes to recognizing gender.
In addition to the District of Columbia, the 17 states providing a gender-neutral option with no provider certification required include Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington.
Massachusetts, Michigan, and Rhode Island require no gender-neutral option or provider certification.
States that have a gender-neutral option and require provider certification include Indiana and New Hampshire.
State laws also enforce regulations on transgender drivers, with select states (e.g., Alabama and Georgia) requiring proof of surgery and amended birth certificates via court order.
To learn more about gender-neutral options and the use of gender by state, visit the Movement Advancement Project’s Identity Document Laws and Policies.
On Average, Which Gender Pays More for Auto Insurance?
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, 13,153 died in traffic-related crashes in 2020 versus 5,091 women.
Additionally, years of data show that male drivers drive more miles than female drivers, on average, and are more likely to drive under the influence, skip seat belts, and go over the speed limit. As a result, auto insurers often consider men — especially young men — to be a higher risk to insure.
Of course, an individual’s experience may vary. For example, after age 30, some female drivers pay higher rates than male drivers of the same age.
Remember, gender is only one of the dozens of criteria insurers use to determine the cost of your premiums.
Using California as an Example, Why Make Gender-Neutral Car Insurance Possible?
According to California State Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones (Jan 2019), “my priority as insurance commissioner is to protect all California consumers. These regulations ensure that auto insurance rates are based on factors within a driver’s control, rather than personal characteristics over which drivers have no control.”
Unlike other states, California requires all auto insurers to base their rates on the following criteria:
- Driving safety record in the past three years
- Number of miles driven annually
- Years of driving experience
Optional factors include but are not limited to:
- The type of vehicle you drive
- Vehicle characteristics (such as safety and theft-deterring features)
- How the car is used (commuting, business, etc.)
- Where you live
- The driver’s education level
- Completion of driver training or defensive driving courses
- Marital status of the driver
- Whether the driver smokes
- Frequency and severity of claims and car accidents
Of course, every insurance company has its secret formula for underwriting risk and assigning premiums. Therefore, comparing quotes from multiple providers before committing to one is a good idea.
How Do I Know if My Auto Insurer Is Trans-Friendly?
We highly recommend reviewing the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s Corporate Equality Index, which shows how LGBTQ-inclusive companies are. Although a high ranking on the list is no indicator of low rates, it provides a good reference point.
How Can I Save On Gender-Neutral Car Insurance?
There are many ways you can save on gender-neutral insurance pricing.
One of the best ways to avoid higher premiums is to maintain a clean driving record. Car insurance companies award “Good Driver” discounts to policyholders with no history of claims or moving violations within the last three to five years.
Another way is to adjust your policy coverage. Opting for lower deductibles and higher liability limits will reduce your overall insurance premiums. For example, increasing your auto insurance deductible from $500 to $1,000 could cut up to 30% off your monthly bill. If your vehicle is worth less than $10,000, it may also be worth reconsidering collision and comprehensive coverage.
However, it’s a safer bet to keep a full coverage car insurance policy with comprehensive and collision coverage over a liability-only policy that only covers third-party damages.
Other discounts focus on low mileage (driving less than 7,500 miles a year), enrolling in defensive driving courses, or bundling multiple policies (e.g., homeowners and auto insurance) from the same insurer.
If your auto insurer offers a telematics program, remember to install an anti-theft/telematics device to risk-proof your vehicle and report good driving behavior to your insurer.
Lastly, everyone should shop around for rates monthly or upon policy renewal. One insurer may calculate your rates differently than competing insurers, even with the same deductible, liability limits, and coverage types. Calling your insurance agent every six months to see what, if any, discounts you qualify for is an excellent next step as well.
Shop Around for the Best Car Insurance Rates
Regardless of gender identity, if you’re a driver looking for an affordable auto insurance policy, be sure to compare rates from different insurance companies.
Compare.com‘s online platform lets you view real-time quotes from hundreds of reputable providers willing to protect you and your family in an auto accident.
Review all of your options by entering your ZIP code below:
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