Why do men pay more for car insurance?

Woman driver

Different drivers present different risks for insurers, but why do men pay more and is it really fair?

The fact that men pay more for car insurance than women is a constant sore point and becoming a hot debate internationally.

Why do men pay more? Mostly because data supports the thesis that men are riskier drivers.

All insurers make it their business to calculate risk and price your insurance accordingly, and historic data plays a big role. Insurers factor in the following:

  • How much men vs. women drive?
  • How risky is their driving behaviour?
  • How many accidents happen with a male driver vs. female?
  • What types of cars men vs. women tend to choose?

Overwhelmingly data supports charging men more in general.

The OPP found twice as many males, 2358, as females, 1146, died in car accidents in the province from 2005 to 2014.

Canada wide, the data agrees. From 2008 to 2012 Stats Canada reported 8546 male fatalities from car accidents, more than twice the number of females at 3501.

What about more careful male drivers? Many feel it’s unfair to blanket half the population with higher fees.

The European Union introduced laws in 2012 making it illegal to charge more for auto insurance on the basis of gender. With Brexit looming, many in the insurance sector in Britain are expecting lawmakers to rework these rules to once again allow them to charge men more.

Fairness is problematic to discuss in this area. “If the government declares gender can’t be rated, I can only assume it would be a zero sum game of stealing from Peter to pay Paul,” says Adam Mitchell, our brokerage’s President.

In simple terms, the insurer would need to make up the cost by charging women more in order to equalize price based on gender. There isn’t a simple way to magically lower rates across the board to create gender parity.

So what should men looking for auto insurance do? Young men and teenagers have the highest rates, but certain actions can mitigate higher prices.

Adam’s suggestions:

  1. Start building a record as soon as possible, and get onto a policy as a named driver.
  2. Take driving school and get the graduate certificate.
  3. Drive a safer vehicle. Stay away from the fast and furious types.
  4. Opt into the telematics program to allow insurance companies to monitor your driving. It can lead to 30% discount on your base rate.
  5. Once your insurer is monitoring your driving, make sure they like what they see. Don’t be a lead foot. Imagine a butler in the back with a tray full of champagne that can’t be spilt.
  6. Don’t crash and don’t get tickets. (Sometimes it’s the simple things that count).

Accomplishing all of this might look like a tall order, but it will keep your bill lower, and you and your family safer on the road.

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