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Male vs. female insurance rates: who pays more and why

When it comes to car insurance, F can sometimes mean lower rates than those for M. But not always.

Despite what you may have heard, women don’t always get cheaper rates on car insurance.

We compared rates across insurance companies for a sample driver in New York to get a view on how much gender plays into the premiums you pay.

Our analysis of Quadrant data found that men under the age of 18 pay 17% more for car insurance than women of the same age. However, between ages 31 and 35, women see 5% higher rates than men.

Who pays the most for car insurance: men or women?

The higher premium varies by a driver’s age. But it turns out that over a lifetime of driving, men end up paying about 3% more than women.

Car insurance rates for men vs women by age

Under 18$7,560$6,304

More to the story

The average car insurance rates don’t tell the whole story about how much you might pay based on your gender.
For example, median rates for men ages 31 to 35 were only $18 higher than for women, at $1,870 versus $1,898, respectively. And the absolute cheapest rate for men at $601 was only $80 more than the $681 for women.

How we got these rates

We pulled data from Quadrant for 47 car insurance companies and compared hundreds of thousands of car insurance rates using the same driver profile:

  • All New York ZIP codes
  • Currently insured
  • Sedan — 2017 Toyota Camry LE
  • State minimum coverage
  • Good credit

Men vs. women: Who gets into more car accidents?

Charging different premiums by gender boils down to statistics, which suggest that men may be more likely to make bad decisions behind the wheel — especially when they’re young.

Men account for almost three-quarters or 73% of all road fatalities, according to 10 years of data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Men are also 2.8 times more likely to be behind the wheel during a fatal accident than women.

Using NHTSA data, we dive into car accident statistics for men versus women to discover which types of accidents and factors are most common.

Type of accidentMenWomenUnknownTotal
Drivers involved in nonfatal accidents, 2010-201960,902,78047,239,953108,142,733
Drivers involved in fatal accidents, 2010-2019348,746123,1448,836480,726

Young men get in the most trouble behind the wheel

Men ages 16 to 25 get in the most car accidents when compared to women or other age groups.

However, the gap between genders widens over time. Drivers in age groups 51 to 55 and 56 to 60 have the widest gender gap for accidents. In these groups, men get into accidents 1.4 times more often than women.

Total car accidents by age and gender, 2010 to 2019

Age groupMale drivers involved in accidentsFemale drivers involved in accidents% difference between genders

How gender plays a role in driving violations

Men see more car accident troubles from driving violations than women.

We analyzed which gender was driving during crashes after specific violations, including drunk driving, speeding and not wearing a seatbelt.

Drunk driving fatalities: Men involved 3.6 times more often than women

Men get in over 103,000 fatal drunk driving accidents,nearly four times the fatal accidents for women. This stat applies to drivers with a blood alcohol content of 0.08 or higher.

ViolationMale driversFemale drivers% difference between genders
Drunk driving103,60028,487114%

Seatbelt use: Men thrown from vehicles twice as often as women

Another major safety risk that men take — not using their seatbelt every time they get behind the wheel. Men are thrown from vehicles in an accident nearly 2.1 times more often than women.

That means that men don’t buckle up as much as women, or they’re at least caught in accidents unbuckled the most. We looked at data for both fatal and nonfatal accidents.

ViolationMale driversFemale drivers% difference between genders
Ejected from vehicle (no seat belt)109,15052,86369%

Men get in speeding-related crashes 1.5 times more often

Considering both fatal and nonfatal accidents, men get in over 250,000 more speeding-related accidents each year compared to women.

The gender gap rings in at a 38% difference between men and women. In other words, you’ll find a male driver at the wheel during an accident 1.5 times more often than a woman.

ViolationMale driversFemale drivers% difference between genders

The gender gap between different types of collisions

Men are prone to a higher involvement in each type of collision we analyzed. Men get in rear-end collisions more often than women, and they’re three times as likely for that rear-ender to kill someone.

When it comes to nonfatal accidents, men are more often at the wheel during a sideswipe than women.

Type of collisionMale driversFemale drivers% difference between genders
Not collision with another motor vehicle157,08248,535106%
Type of collisionMale driversFemale drivers% difference between genders
Not collision with another motor vehicle11,698,3547,071,63765%

How big is the gender gap on the state level?

North Dakota has the widest gender gap in spades with men getting into accidents 4.8 times more often than women.

Then, South Dakota and Washington, D.C. stick close together. In South Dakota, men get into accidents 3.7 times more often than women, and 3.6 times more often in D.C.

We ranked the states based on the difference between the number of fatal car accidents for men versus women, not considering crashes reported as gender unknown. We sourced 10 years of crash data from the NHTSA.

Car accidents by gender and state, 2010 to 2019

RankStatesMale driver in fatal crashFemale driver in fatal crashUnknown gender% of difference between men vs. women
3District of Columbia2396613113%
50New Hampshire1,084437285%
19New Jersey5,8032,02217497%
17New Mexico3,4211,16510998%
6New York10,7473,343372105%
46North Carolina13,2595,18119388%
1North Dakota1,3682874131%
44Rhode Island563217789%
32South Carolina9,0103,28315693%
2South Dakota1,2543432114%
6West Virginia3,01093425105%

Accident for men vs. women by time of day

Both genders get in more car accidents during the day compared to night. However, men get in nighttime crashes 1.5 times more often than women.

Men are at the wheel during 1.8 million nighttime crashes per year, compared to 1.1 million for women.

Total car accidents by gender and time of day, 2010 to 2019

Time of dayMale driversFemale drivers% difference between genders
Reported as unknown1,779436

Accident rate for men vs. women by day of week

Friday is the most troublesome day for car accidents across both genders.

However, the gender gap between the number of car accidents widens on Saturday and Sunday. Men get in car accidents about 1.5 times more often on those days than women.

Total car accidents by gender and day of week, 2010 to 2019

Day of weekMale driversFemale drivers% difference between genders

What if my ID doesn’t match my gender identity?

How your insurance company evaluates your gender largely depends on how you’re represented on your ID. The majority of states don’t make it easy to change the gender on your ID, which may mean getting lumped in with the gender you were assigned at birth.

You might be able to speak directly to your insurer about more affordable rates while you work through the process of changing your gender marker on your driver’s license. But there’s no guarantee you’ll get a rate break.

Changing gender markers on forms of ID

All US states allow you to change your gender on your driver’s license, though the formal process — and frustration — varies by state. As of February 2022, 15 states and Washington DC allow gender marker changes simply by self attesting. All other states require either medical documentation, a court order or an updated passport or birth certificate.

Contact the National Center for Transgender Equality for your state’s policies or to learn more from an attorney who specializes in changes to government-issued ID.

How do nonbinary gender markers affect car insurance rates?

Sixteen states and Washington DC allow X gender markers as of this writing. Because the option is fairly new, data on how it affects car insurance rates is fairly limited.

The Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services issued a notice in 2018 to insurers that use gender when determining premiums that they must accommodate drivers who select the X gender marker. It’s yet to be seen how other states that allow factoring gender into rates will handle the change.

Bottom line

Ultimately, paying too much for car insurance is more complicated than factoring in your age or your gender. Insurance companies use a variety of factors to set car insurance premiums, and not every company weighs each factor the same.

To find the cheapest rates and most comprehensive coverage you’re eligible for, compare several quotes from both big and small companies.

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