There has been an ongoing debate about equality between the sexes, but when it comes to auto insurance, womens car insurance rates seem to tip the scale in favor of women drivers. There are several factors that contribute to this seemingly unfair advantage of cheap womens car insurance, but when it comes to saving money, the insurance companies don’t mind looking the other way when seemingly violating this cultural norm. As you dig deeper into the specifics, you will see that the underlying lynch pin to this discrepancy is safety. But, for clarity’s sake, we will list some of the contributing factors that seem to give women an unfair advantage when it comes to buying auto insurance.
The gender factor
You might be surprised to know that gender is one of the key ingredients looked at by insurance companies when calculating your insurance premium. You may also be wondering why your sex should matter at all to insurers. Shouldn’t your rates be based on your driving record? It does. But statistics show that women tend to have less accidents than their male counterparts, and are cited for DUIs, a major culprit in automobile accidents, far less than men. They also drive less than men and take fewer risks on the highway than male drivers. These are the main factors insurance companies look at when calculating womens car insurance premiums.
Average rate of accidents
As stated earlier, women are less likely to be involved in an automobile accident than their male counterparts. This means that the insurance companies will pay fewer claims, and that translates into big savings for their bottom line. Also, statistics have shown that men are 10 times less likely to buckle-up than the more safety-conscious female drivers, so they are more likely to be seriously injured in an accident. This usually results in higher medical costs.
Fortunately, driving records for both sexes are factored into the equation when calculating premiums, and a safe driving record will translate into lower premiums for both, though, again, women are statistically safer drivers, so they stand to benefit more from this consideration.
Putting the pedal to the metal
To auto insurance companies, speeding is a good indicator of an unsafe driver, and increases the likelihood of an accident, in their eyes. So, the more speeding tickets you have on your driving record, the higher your auto insurance premiums will be. Also, according to The National Highway Traffic Highway Safety Administration, speeding is the biggest contributor to traffic accidents, and, not surprisingly, the percentage is greater for men (24%) than women (15%).
Speeding also result in having points added to your license. Insurance companies use points to gauge a driver’s risk and possible costs to the company. Figures show that 1 in 15 men had points on their driver’s license, while only 1 in 30 women were so affected. This is a first for women car insurance rates and another indication of how women pose less of a financial risk to insurance companies.
DUIs and DWIs
If there is one thing that auto insurance companies frown upon more than any other it’s DUI/DWI. Anyone who has ever had a DUI conviction can tell you that your insurance premiums will skyrocket after a single offense. But, again, this statistic also works in favor of womens car insurance premiums.
According to an FBI report, 536,202 men were cited in 2013 for DUI, compared to just 174,149 women. A study conducted by the California Department of Alcohol and Drug Program showed insurance premiums increasing a whopping $2,700 after a single DUI conviction.
However, fear of higher insurance premiums is not the guiding force behind a woman’s decision to stay from behind the wheel when drinking; more likely it goes back to the fact that women are statistically less likely to take risks and are more safety conscious.
However, there are indications that DUI percentages for the sexes might be evening out, so look for insurance premiums to reflect the trend should it continue.
Make and model of a car can also affect premiums
Men are more likely than women to purchase those high-performance sports cars, and those are the type of machines that draw the highest premiums. Also, men are more likely to buy a higher priced vehicle than women, and that, too, can affect your insurance premium. When determining the premium, insurance companies factor in such things as the safety rating and claim history of the make and model, so if it has a favorable safety record, that usually translates into lower premiums.
Women, on the other hand, tend to buy smaller compact models, and those models usually have a higher safety rating than the muscle cars men seem to prefer. For example, in a recent study on gender preferences in car buying showed that Porsche was the no. 1 pick for men, while women showed an overwhelming preference for Nissan. Once again, women are the chief beneficiaries of this propensity when it comes to auto insurance.
If the above information makes it seem like the insurance companies are giving women an unfair advantage, that’s not necessarily the case. The fact of the matter is insurance companies base most of their premium decision making on safety. And, since women are statistically safer drivers, they, deservedly, reap the benefits of their safe-driving habits. However, a man with a safe driving record would fare better than a woman with a messy driving record.