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The gender gap and car insurance

When it comes to policies, F can sometimes mean lower rates than those for M.

Updated

Fact checked
Young couple in a car

Do women always pay less for car insurance?

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

We compared rates across providers for a sample driver in New York for a more accurate view on how much gender plays into the premiums you end up paying.

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

AgeMenWomen
Under 18$7,560$6,304
18-21$4,144$3,571
22-25$2,929$2,709
26-30$2,518$2,591
31-35$2,480$2,602
36-45$2,533$2,650
46-55$2,460$2,471
56+$2,426$2,454

Young men have the highest car insurance rates

Men younger than 18 pay the most for car insurance at an average annual premium of $7,560. That’s 17% higher than the average $6,304 women pay annually.

Car insurance rates for men vs women: under 18

Under 18MaleFemaleDifference
Average$7,560$6,304-17%

Men continue to pay 14% more for their car insurance between the ages of 18 to 21, when they pay $4,144 versus $3,571 for women.

Car insurance rates for men vs women: 18-21

18-21MaleFemaleDifference
Average$4,144$3,571-14%

Men also shell out 8% more between the ages of 21 and 25: an average $2,929 a year for coverage while women pay $2,709.

Car insurance rates for men vs women: 22-25

22-25MaleFemaleDifference
Average$2,929$2,709-8%

The tables turn after 25

This is where the script flips: Women between the ages of 26 and 30 pay an average 3% more each year for their car insurance: $2,591 for women to $2,518 for men.

Car insurance rates for men vs women: 26-30

26-30MaleFemaleDifference
Average$2,518$2,5913%

This trend continues between the ages of 31 and 35, when women pay an average 5% more per year. Women pay about $2,602 a year for their car insurance — $122 more than men.

Car insurance rates for men vs women: 31-35

31-35MaleFemaleDifference
Average$2,480$2,6025%

Women ages 36 to 45 continue paying 5% more with average premiums of $2,650 versus $2,533 for men.

Car insurance rates for men vs women: 36-45

36-45MaleFemaleDifference
Average$2,533$2,6505%

Welcome to the middle-age spread

Between the ages of 46 and 55, it starts to even out. Here, men and women pay (almost) the same amount for car insurance: $2,460 for men versus $2,471 for women.

Car insurance rates for men vs women: 46-55

46-55MaleFemaleDifference
Average$2,460$2,4710%

This trend continues through to age 56 and older, with women paying a mere 1% more for auto insurance at $2,454 versus $2,426 for men.

Car insurance rates for men vs women: 56+

Over 55MaleFemaleDifference
Average$2,426$2,4541%

More to the story

These stats show average rates for the same driver demographic, but they don’t tell the whole story about car insurance rates across genders. The average and minimum rates for men were about 4% lower between ages 26 to 45, but the median rates were a lot closer at around 2%.

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.

31-35MaleFemaleDifference
Median$1,870$1,8981%
Minimun$601$68113%

Why do car insurance prices differ by age and gender?

Unless you live in California, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Montana, North Carolina, Pennsylvania or some parts of Michigan, the gender on your driver’s license is a factor for your premiums. It’s just one of the factors your insurer considers when determining how much you’ll pay for your car insurance.

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

Each year in the United States, between 70% and 80% of all drunk-driving offenses are attributed to male drivers. And according to the latest data available from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, men account for almost three-quarters or 71% of all road fatalities.

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 this writing, 15 states and Washington D.C. 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 IDs.

How do nonbinary gender markers affect car insurance rates?

Sixteen states and Washington D.C. 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 gender to be factored into rates will handle the change.

Pay less for car insurance when you pay-as-you-go

If you’re looking to pay less for insurance, among the options available to help you save is pay-as-you-go car insurance.

With this use-based insurance, your rate is determined not only by how much you drive but how also how well you drive. The insurer tracks your driving either through a trial or throughout your policy through a plug-in telematics device, a built-in device or a smartphone app.

After you’ve installed the monitoring device, it tracks data points related your driving, such as how far you drive, your speed and how heavily you break.

Pay-as-you-go could be an affordable option for younger drivers looking to cut down age- or gender-related penalties by proving conscientious driving. It’s a convenient way to prove that your driving ability should be the biggest factor when it comes to your rates.

It pays to compare your options

Ultimately, paying too much for car insurance is more complicated than how old you are or your gender. And not every insurance company will weigh each factor the same. To find the cheapest rates and most comprehensive coverage you’re eligible for, compare both big and smaller insurers.

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