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Depending on their age and location, the study found that women can pay up to 7.6% more than men for their car insurance.
In this article, we’ll explain which states have the highest inequality, what could be causing it, and how to do it save on car insuranceregardless of gender.
Where do women pay more and why?
Across the country, women pay a little more than men on average, but they pay noticeably more in 21 states and Washington, DC, especially considering they cause fewer accidents as a group.
Zebra’s study compared more than 83 million rates offered for auto insurance between September and December 2020 by gender, age and location.
The study’s findings are inconsistent with what is known about the driving risks associated with each gender.
Men and women get tickets and warnings at essentially the same rate, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics.
At any age, however, male drivers are responsible for 68% to 70% of all accidents. And men account for 70.5% of all driver deaths, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).
Where is the difference the greatest?
The largest gender gap between auto insurance rates is in Florida. In the Sunshine State, women pay an average of $85 more per year than men.
Age is another contributing factor to the inequality in rates.
While it’s fairly common knowledge that teenage boys pay significantly more than teenage girls for car insurance, the pendulum starts to swing back after age 30.
Women in their 50s in Louisiana pay an average of $118 — or 5.6% — more than men of the same age.
In Oregon, women in their 30s pay an average of 6.5%, or $91, more per year than men in their demographic. And when they’re in their 40s, the difference grows to 7.6%, or a difference of $104.
It’s a similar situation for residents of Utah, Minnesota, and Washington, where middle-aged men can expect to pay 4.1%, 4.8%, and 5.7% less, respectively, than women when they shop for policies.
What is going on here?
One possible reason for the large difference in percentages is how likely it is that women will be injured or killed in a car accident.
According to an analysis by the IIHS, women are 20% to 28% more likely than men to die in a car accident and 37% to 73% more than men than men.
The institute found two possible explanations for this: firstly, women are often the drivers of the hit-and-run vehicle in accidents; and second, women tend to drive lighter cars than men.
However, The Zebra wasn’t convinced this fully explains why women pay so much more, as medical or personal injury claims don’t raise rates as much as speeding, drink-driving and culpable accidents, with men responsible for a majority of the violations.
Which States Ban Gender-Based Classification?
There are only a handful of states that currently do not allow insurance companies to consider gender as a rating factor for auto insurance quotes.
When California’s Department of Insurance announced the ban in 2018, the department stated that gender-based classification had caused a number of problems over the decades it’s been used.
“The relationship between gender and risk of loss no longer appears to be substantial, and the logical justification … has become suspect,” the department said at the time.
Meanwhile, Michigan’s ban on using gender as a rating factor was part of a larger 2020 law change that significantly reduced a number of factors that insurance companies could use to determine policies.
In Michigan, it is now illegal for insurers to use gender and other personal assessment factors such as marital status, education level, and home ownership.
How to pay less for insurance, whoever you are
While you can’t determine your age or gender — or maybe even your location — there are a few things you can do to lower your risk as a driver and get better car insurance rates.
Avoid making claims. The more claims you make, the more you will cost your insurer and the higher your risk. Try to avoid making a claim unless absolutely necessary.
Think of telematics programs. Some insurance companies will give you a discount on your rate just for signing up for and using an app to track your driving.
Improve your credit score. In almost all states, your auto insurer may consider your creditworthiness when making quotes. Increase your credit score can help you secure an even lower rate on insurance.
Maximize your discount options. If you don’t drive too much during the pandemic, your auto insurance company may offer a pandemic “stimulus check”. If not, contact your insurer if you miss out on discount opportunities.
Look around for quotes. Comparing insurance quotes is the best way to save on auto insurance. By shopping around for rates, you can: save up to $1,000 per year.
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