A hot topic in the insurance world is do males pay more than females on their car insurance? To put it bluntly, yes. Of course there are different circumstances and different companies treat the topic differently, but as a whole yes, males pay more then females. However, to truly understand this topic there are a few things you have to understand about insurance companies and their rating systems.
Why Does Insurance Use Gender as a Rating Factor?
To begin lets first look at why gender is even used in Ontario to help determine car insurance premiums. Insurance actuaries and underwriters (the people who come up with the rates) use historical data and outcomes to try and forecast the probability of automobile claims for different segments of people or risks. There are mounds and mounds of data available to these companies and as such they are able to use this vast amount of information to develop rates. One of the pieces of information they have access to and look at when determining auto insurance rates is gender. Statistically speaking, male drivers under the age of 25 are more likely to be involved in an at-fault accident or claim than their female counterparts. As such, young males are typically rated as a higher risk to the insurance company and therefore end up paying more for their insurance.
The Ontario Provincial Police from 2005 – 2014 found twice as many males (2,358) as females (1,146) died in car accidents in Ontario.
The problem with this model is it doesn’t look at why male drivers are involved in more accidents and when you do it becomes a bit more muddled. There are factors that could play a role here such as: frequency of driving – maybe young males drive more frequently than females and thus spend more time behind the wheel, or the vehicle types being driven – maybe young males are driving less reliable or less safe vehicles than females on average. But when it comes to insurance and coming up with these rates the companies don’t care about the reasons, it is the results they are focused on.
Do Males Ever Get Rates as Good as Females?
The good news is as males become older their rates tend to align with females. Again, turning to the mountains of data insurance companies have, they found that on average when males are 25 or older they become more responsible on the roads and are involved in a similar number of claims to females. What does this mean? It means that most of the time there is no difference in rating between males and females after they have turned 25 or been driving for 9 years. Of course there are still exceptions to this but on average the rates do round out for males and gender becomes less of a factor.
Is There Ways to Offset the High Rates for Young Males?
We are glad you asked! We know it sucks having to pay more for insurance just because of your gender but luckily there are discounts available that can help offset some of these costs. Let’s take a look at what some of them are:
Start building a driving record right away
A big mistake that happens in a lot of families is the parents never add their children to their policies as an occasional driver. Sure it may increase the parent’s policy initially, however the savings down the road will be worth it for the young driver. Simply letting them drive your vehicles is not enough, they need to actually be named on the policy or they will not be building any insurance history. Without insurance history you are a bigger exposure to insurance companies and thus when the younger driver tries to get their own policy they will be at a disadvantage.
Complete a certified young drivers training course
These programs are a win-win. First of all, these courses teach you how to drive safely and provide tips and techniques for inexperienced drivers to make them safer on the road. Insurance companies recognize this as well, and so, they offer a better rating to drivers who have completed a driver training course. Most drivers who start driving and are listed on an insurance policy begin with a 0 star driver rating. Drivers who have completed a young driver training course will automatically start with a 3 star driver rating which means significant upfront savings on their insurance.
Get good grades in school
Wait what does school have to do with driving? Remember all that big data insurance companies have access to? Well believe it or not they have actually found correlations with students who have good grades (above an 80% average), are actually less likely to get into an accident or have a claim. For most of the companies who offer this discount it can save you 10% a year on your car insurance and even if you graduate and are finished school the discount can remain with you until you turn 25. Study, study, study!
Use the telematics program
Some insurance companies offer the opportunity for drivers to use a program that monitors their driving habits. It tries to mitigate the impact that gender has on their rating and focus on the driver themselves. Enrolling in this program can give you a discount on your policy right off the top and can even save you up to 25% at your next renewal, if it determines you are a good driver. It is important to be cognoscente that the device is with you while you are driving. We like to say it is best to imagine you are driving with a delicate glass sculpture in your back seat and cannot break it or you’ll be in trouble.
At the end of the day it may not be fair that insurance companies use gender as a rating factor; however that is the way it is for now. Who knows it may change one day but in the meantime, guys take these tips and do your best to drive safely and not be another statistic. And girls, keep on keeping on!