It may not be fair, but it’s a fact of life. Price discrimination exists. Women have dealt with this for years and will generally pay more for things like a haircut, dry cleaning, or shoes. But if you’re a man, and you’ve been pricing out car insurance, you’ve learned that price discrimination can work both ways. Men, on average, will pay more for car insurance than women. The question is “why?”
Why men pay more for car insurance
There are a number of reasons for this phenomenon. Let’s start with the business of insurance providers.
Men are riskier drivers
Insurance companies are in the business of calculating risk. The less risky a person is to insure, the lower the cost, to them and to you. Insurance providers, using past historical data, have determined that male drivers participate in higher risk driving behaviour than women, and so car insurance rates are higher for men. Therefore it is possible that two people with similar driving histories or abilities may pay very different car insurance rates. Again, this relates to how much risk the insurer assigns to each type of driver.
Part of that past historical data is driven (pun intended) by demographic history. Men of a certain age have proven to be riskier drivers than women. They are more likely to drive without seat belts, they generally drive faster, and ultimately they are more likely to get into collisions. Statistics Canada showed that between 2008 and 2012 more men (8,456) died in car-related accidents than women (3,561).
If you are male, in the 16-25 age demographic, your auto insurance quotes will be at their highest based on much of this historical data. The longer you maintain a safe record, the lower the car insurance rates will become.
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How to lower car insurance rates
While insurance companies will continue to assess you and your driving history in terms of risk, there are things you can do to help lower your car insurance rates over time.
- Take a course – In general, insurance companies will provide better car insurance quotes for people who have a driving certificate from an accredited training program.
- Choose your vehicle wisely – Different cars can be viewed as different forms of risk. The safer and more “practical” the car, the more likely car insurance rates will be lower. That’s a warning to all the sports car-lovers out there.
- Consider telematics – Telematics devices, placed into a car’s diagnostic system, and some smart phone apps, allow insurance companies to monitor habits and behaviour. Some companies will provide discounts on car insurance to drivers who maintain good habits and safe records. These devices are gender-neutral and are based on performance and habits alone.
- Drop unneeded coverage – Collision and comprehensive insurance are great add-ons to any policy. But, if you’re driving an older car, consider dropping these two endorsements from your policy to save $15-$30.
- Reduce commute – If you can cycle, walk, or use public transit, you can reduce your km’s and update your insurer for a lower rate, maybe a $10-$15 savings.
The bottom line
In the grand scheme of things, men will face price discrimination in the car insurance world, especially if they are just starting out as new drivers. Comparison shopping for the right car insurance quotes , as well as some practical training and guidance, can help ease the pain and reduce car insurance rates over time. Recently, the gap is closing between men and women and their car insurance rates. For now, your best bet is to drive safe and over time, earn the reductions for loyalty and collision-free driving.