Drivers may know that women and men pay different prices for their car insurance. But who does — and who should — pay more?
Rating factors are characteristics like age, gender, credit, driving history and more that insurance companies use to predict how likely a driver is to get into serious accidents and price their policy accordingly. The Insurance Information Institute claims that since women tend to get into fewer and less serious accidents than men do, all else being equal, women should pay less for insurance.
However, recent research has shown that on average, women actually pay more than men. It gets even more complicated after factoring in age. While teenage boys pay more and are more dangerous drivers than teenage girls, middle-aged women pay more but are less dangerous drivers than middle-aged men. For state governments, this raises the question: If the price women pay for car insurance doesn’t reflect their level of risk compared to men, should gender be banned as a rating factor?
New research from The Zebra examined insurance rates by gender, age and location, and found that:
- Women can pay up to 7.6% more than men, depending on their age and location.
- Men are riskier drivers and file more claims than women, but women are 37-73% more prone to injury in car accidents.
- Seven states now ban gender as a rating factor in car insurance.
Women can pay up to 7.6% more than men, depending on their age and location
Contrary to the popular belief that men pay more than women for car insurance, in 2021, women pay 0.4%, or $6, more than men as a nationwide average. However, rates and insurance laws differ from state to state, so how much women pay relative to men depends on where they live.