Many people may be surprised to learn that car insurance premiums are higher for men than women. The difference in rates is usually fairly low, but it’s a fact of the industry: All other things being equal, men will pay at least slightly more on their insurance premiums but why is car insurance more expensive for men?
A number of factors go into determining insurance rates. Car insurance companies look at an individual’s driving record for prior accidents and citations, review a potential driver’s credit history, marital status, age, location, and several other pieces of information before determining rates.
Auto insurance companies make their profit by providing coverage for accidents that most drivers will never have. When you pay your premium, you are essentially paying for a promise that if your vehicle is damaged through catastrophic weather, vandalism, or collision that the insurance company will pay to repair that vehicle. Many people go their whole lives without an accident, providing the insurance company with a substantial profit from premiums without needing to pay out on claims. Insurance companies appreciate the business of drivers who will not cost them money, and so reward them with lower premiums. Drivers who are at a high risk of getting into an accident are charged a higher premium.
So why are men charged more for car insurance than women?
Because men, especially men under 25, are perceived as being higher risk drivers.
The claim may seem like a sweeping generalization and unfair stereotype, but there is data to back up the research. Statistically, men receive slightly more traffic citations and are involved in more accidents each year than women. Men are also twice as likely to die in a car crash, indicating that accidents with male drivers are often more serious.
Why do men have more accidents than women?
There are several reasons that men may have more accidents than women. Men may drive more aggressively: speeding, rapid lane changes, sharp turns, tailgating. Men may also spend more time on the road; when couples go out together, men often drive while their spouse rides as a passenger. Additionally, men may learn to drive earlier, meaning that more teenage drivers are male — and all teenage drivers are considered a high risk due to inexperience, if nothing else.
Of course, not all men are high-risk drivers, and their insurance policy will reflect that after time. Once you have been with an insurance company for several years, your specific driving history will have more effect upon your rates than any stereotypical data about your age, gender, or other general information gathered when you received your first quote. Most insurance companies will lower the premiums of drivers with driving record free of accidents and citations; some even offer reduced deductibles in exchange for safe driving.
Also, after a man turns 25 he can expect his insurance rates to go down automatically as long as he has maintained a safe driving record up to that point. Men who are married will also enjoy discounts on their premiums, as do home-owners. If you are looking for an insurance quote and want to reduce the cost of your premium, there are several things you can do:
Consider taking a policy with a higher deductible
Auto insurance deductibles are the portion you are obligated to pay anytime you make a claim. Anytime you have a higher policy deductible it reduces the risk to an auto insurance company and your rates should decrease.
Insure a low-risk vehicle
Sports cars and luxury vehicles cost more to insure, in large part due to the cost of repairs. Also, after-market additions to your vehicle like custom spoilers and engine upgrades may increase your premium. You can also reduce the cost of insuring your vehicle by adding anti-theft devices like car alarms or premium locks to the doors.
Consider Pay as you Go Auto Insurance
You may wish to try a “pay as you go” type of policy, especially if you do not put extensive mileage on your vehicle. Essentially, this is a policy that tailors your premiums to your specific driving habits including how many miles you drive and whether you drive aggressively. If you are a safe driver with low daily mileage, ask your insurance company if they offer this sort of program. You will be asked to install a specific software into your vehicle that will track your driving habits, and your rates will be updated to reflect your habits. This option is not available everywhere, but it may be a good way to reduce your premiums.
While men are considered high risk drivers, the cost difference is usually quite low between genders; rates depend more upon recorded driving history than any other factor. Safe drivers will always be valued above those at high risk, and the longer an individual’s clean driving record, the more competitive his rates will continue to be.
Call us to discuss your options for Austin auto insurance rates at (512) 445-2727