The common misconception that women are bad drivers is not backed up by insurance statistics. In fact, women of all ages are less expensive to buy car insurance for, especially women under the age of 25. There are not insurance discounts aimed solely at female drivers, but women can take advantage of the same discounts as men, and since they are already cheaper to insure the savings will seem to be that much larger in comparison.
There are a multitude of aspects to the rating structure which calculates the price of an insurance policy. While gender may be one of them, it is trivial compared to the other major rating factors that insurance companies take into consideration. The three biggest rating factors are the vehicle’s location, prior driving history, and type of vehicle.
How Vehicles Affect Insurance Rates
Unlike their counterparts who tend to purchase high-torque and high-power vehicles more frequently, women have a penchant for buying safer automobiles. Family-size crossovers and minivans in particular are more often driven by women than men and both generally have better safety ratings than muscle cars. Since better safety ratings mean less injuries in the event of an accident, these vehicles get preferred insurance rates.
Although large pickup trucks may receive excellent safety ratings for their passengers, they can cause a great deal of damage to other vehicles in a collision. Because of this, large SUVs and pickup trucks are characteristically more expensive to insure than a mid-size car. Since these larger vehicles are more frequently purchased by men than women, it’s one more contributing factor to why men tend to have more expensive insurance.
Driving Habits Can Hurt or Help You
Of course, your driving history and credit score will both be important in determining your rates. If you do not receive any tickets for 3 years or more, you can get a safe driver discount. Similarly, a credit score of over 650 indicates financial responsibility, and that is good for another discount. And if you have more than one insurance policy with the same insurer, you can get discounts for multiple policies that become loyalty discounts after you renew the policies once or twice.
Another factor that contributes to the price of an insurance premium is driving habits. Did you know that women and teenage girls are less likely to engage in risky behavior like drag racing or driving drunk? Insurance companies are keenly aware of the fact that teenage boys are at higher risk of driving irresponsibly than any other type of driver. For this reason, teenage girls are almost always much cheaper to insure than boys.
The Cost of Claims on Insurance
While both men and women cause car accidents, you may be surprised to learn that accidents tend to be more deadly for men on the whole. Not only are more men killed annually than women each year in car crashes, but they also cause more collisions. Each year, male drivers cause over one and a half million more motor vehicle accidents than women. Obviously this is a tremendous contributing factor as to why insurers frequently charge more to insure their male clients and helps explain why insurance companies see women as less of a risk.
How Women Can Save on Car Insurance
Even though women seem to have an advantage over their male counterparts due to their decisions in regards to risk-taking and vehicle preference, many women still want to find ways to lower their car insurance. Luckily, there are plenty of discounts available to both men and women which will allow them to reduce their premiums.
The first place to look for savings on your car insurance is with the car you are insuring. Anti-lock brakes, electronic stability control and automatic transmissions are all ways the car can save you money. And if it has driver side, curtain or side impact airbags, the savings are even higher. And cars with theft deterrent devices, even theft resistant radios, receive additional discounts that women can take advantage of.
Many insurance companies also offer discounts to drivers who are students with good grades, have low annual mileage, or have completed a defensive driving course. You may also be surprised to learn that almost all major insurers offer a military discount to both men and women.
Personal demographics will also affect your insurance rates. It helps to be over 25, married, and to live in a zip code with a low crime rate. Owning your own home translates into lower premiums, and if you park your car in a private garage at night you’ll get another security discount. Furthermore, if you have a Bachelor’s degree or better, you’ll get a discount for academic achievement.
Factors That Raise Women’s Premiums
While it may seem like women have the upper-hand with insurance rates, this isn’t always the case; sometimes men have cheaper car insurance. A few reasons men may have less expensive insurance include:
- Being a more experienced driver
- Having a longer insurance history
- Filing fewer claims
- Living in a zip code with less crime
- Maintaining a clean driving record
- Having better credit
Despite the fact that women tend to be teased for being inferior to men in terms of driving, the statistics don’t lie. Women get better insurance rates than men for a reason. Since numerous studies have found men to be more costly to insure, it doesn’t look like this trend will change any time soon. That’s good news for women everywhere.