Find Out Which Gender Pays More for Car Insurance

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Updated June 3rd, 2022

Which gender pays more for car insurance: happy family riding a car

Auto insurers use proprietary algorithms that factor in age, gender, ZIP code, driving record, and other criteria to set your insurance rates. Nearly all states allow auto insurance rates to be partially calculated by gender, resulting in small cost differences between male drivers and female drivers. 

So which gender pays more for car insurance? Keep reading to learn what effect gender has on the cost of car insurance and ways you can save on your next auto insurance policy.

Regardless of gender, if you are looking to pay lower premiums and take advantage of discounts not available through your current insurer, it may be time to look for a new, more affordable insurance provider. To compare rates from dozens of companies, enter your ZIP code below:

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Which Gender Pays More for Car Insurance?

Which gender pays more for car insurance: instructor teaching a woman how to drive a car

In short, your gender is one factor car insurance companies use to calculate rates. However, it’s not the end-all-be-all. There are dozens of other contributing factors at play.

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), male drivers exhibit higher-risk behaviors than females, such as speeding, not wearing a seat belt, and driving under the influence of alcohol. These behaviors have contributed to more than double the number of male crash fatalities than female crash deaths between 1975 and 2019. However, female drivers have higher injury and fatality rates in accidents of equal severity, so it’s harder to classify who is a safer driver between men and women.

In 2017, a Consumer Federation of America study found that 40-year-old female drivers paid up to 32% higher in premiums than men with comparable driving records. But the patterns varied based on the insurance company. For example, GEICO charged women drivers higher premiums 83% of the time, but State Farm charged male drivers an annual premium of $488 higher on average than female drivers. These stats show that insurance carriers consider neither gender as “better drivers” and use other risk factors, such as age and driving record, to calculate auto insurance premiums.

What Factors Do Auto Insurance Companies Use to Determine Rates?

Auto Insurance Policy document, a pen and an eyeglass

Several factors affect your auto insurance rates other than gender, including your age, ZIP code of residence, credit score, vehicle make/model, and driving record. Let’s break down how these affect your insurance rates:

  • Age: Younger drivers generally pay more than older drivers’ age groups for car insurance, thanks to a lack of driving history and spottier records with a higher percentage of insurance claims. Starting at age 25, drivers pay up to 20% less for car insurance coverage depending on the insurance company and driver.
  • ZIP code: The higher the claims activity in your ZIP code, the higher the rate. Factors that drive rates higher within a geographic area include vehicle theft, fraudulent injury, stolen property, and vandalism claims.
  • Credit score: The higher your credit score, the better your rates. According to the Center for Insurance Policy and Research, roughly 95% of all car insurers check your credit. However, this excludes most drivers in California, Hawaii, Maryland, Michigan and Massachusetts, where the practice of using credit information is limited or not allowed.
  • Your vehicle: Specific makes, models, trims, and body types (e.g., SUVs) command higher rates. According to Kelley Blue Book, the cars with the lowest national average rates in 2021 were the Chrysler Voyager L, Honda CR-V LX, Mazda CX-3 Sport, Fiat 500X Trekking, and the Honda HR-V LX. The most expensive cars to insure were the Maserati Quattroporte S GranSport, Maserati Ghibli S Q4 GranSport, Tesla Model S Plaid, Tesla Model X Plaid, and the BMW M760i xDrive.
  • Your record: Driving records and how frequently you drive also affect car insurance rates. Low-mileage drivers (less than 7,500 miles a year) with no claims history can expect to pay lower premiums than high-mileage drivers with one or more infractions on their driving record

How Can I Save on Car Insurance?

Woman putting on a seatbelt

Fortunately, there are many ways drivers — male or female — can lower their rates. Here are our favorite recommendations: 

1. Maintain a Clean Driving Record

Having a clean driving record is your best bet to lower rates. New drivers, young drivers, and drivers with multiple accidents or a drunk driving conviction are more likely to pay higher rates. Your monthly rates will likely drop after three to five years of no speeding tickets, exceeding speed limits, fatal accidents, car crashes, suspended driver’s licenses, DUIs, and similar incidences.

2. Apply for Low-Mileage and Safe-Driver Discounts

If you drive less than 7,500 miles a year, your auto insurance provider could lower your rates. You may also opt for a cheap pay-per-mile insurance pricing program or install an anti-theft device in your vehicle. If you enroll in a telematics program, you receive a safe-driver discount based on data provided by a tracking device installed in your car. To calculate the discount, the device monitors your driving activity, sensing quick braking, excessive speeds, or other high-risk driving behavior.

3. Compare Auto Insurance Quotes 

If your record is clean of insurance claims, car accidents, and traffic infractions for the past three to five years, we recommend comparing auto insurance quotes between providers. One auto insurance provider could charge 20% higher premiums for the same coverage than another. Shopping around between multiple providers may make you wonder why you didn’t decide to change your insurer earlier. 

4. Change Your Policy’s Coverage Limits

Another way female and male drivers can both lower rates is by increasing deductibles, decreasing coverage limits, and excluding optional coverage types such as uninsured motorist coverage and rental car reimbursement.

Coverage limits are the maximum amount of money your insurance policy will pay towards covered losses. A deductible is an amount you agree to pay before your insurance carrier pays the rest for a covered loss. Every driver can opt for a policy with the state’s minimum required coverage limits or a full-coverage plan, including collision and comprehensive insurance.

Note: Every state requires drivers to carry minimum auto insurance coverage. For example, California requires $15,000 in bodily injury liability coverage per person, $30,000 in bodily injury liability coverage per accident, and $5,000 in property damage liability coverage.

5. Call and Ask for Discounts 

Call your insurance provider every six months to see what new discounts you may qualify for. Whether a male driver or female driver, changes to your policy may be in order as your life circumstances change. For example, switching to an older make and model vehicle could slash 20% off your monthly premiums, thanks to the lower cost of replacement parts.

Do not forget to enroll in policy-related discounts. Paying your policy in full up front or signing up for autopay, paperless billing, and bundling multiple policies (e.g., auto and homeowners insurance) could further reduce your monthly premiums. 

What States Do Not Allow Insurers to Set Rates Based on Gender?

According to the Consumer Federation of America (CFA), almost all states use gender to calculate premiums, with the exception of:

In recent years, state legislators such as former California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones have advocated for and passed laws banning gender-based pricing, citing it as a factor outside of a driver’s control.

Shop Around for the Best Car Insurance Rates

Each insurance company applies its own algorithms and methodology to determine motor vehicle insurance rates, and gender is just one of many factors. So, there is no straight answer for which gender pays more in car insurance.

The only way to make sure you get the best deal is to run the numbers for yourself and compare prices. Check out all of your options by entering your ZIP code below:

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