Your auto insurance premiums are likely to be higher if you’re a male. Although many men believe they’re highly skilled drivers, in truth men are far more prone than women to have car accidents. Why? Look at it this way: Besides Danica Patrick, how many female racing-car drivers can you name?
Blame it on culture or testosterone, but whatever the cause, men tend to drive more aggressively than women. They also are less concerned about pesky things like traffic laws. The result: 73 percent of all the people who die in traffic accidents are men (U.S. Department of Transportation, 2009).
Curiously, men become worse drivers a few years after they get their licenses. Between the ages of 20 and 24, their accident rate is 21.6 per 100,000 population (Insurance Institute of Highway Safety). From that high rate, men gradually become better drivers until they turn 70. But once they’re over 85, men are even more dangerous than they were in their early 20s.
Even when they’re doing the best driving of their lives – between ages 55 to 59 – men drive no better than females ages 20 to 24 (8.3 per 100,000). Women, meanwhile, are consistently far less accident prone than men; they’re the safety queens of the road between 40 and 44 when their accident rate is 4.2 per 100,000.
How Can a Young Male Lower His Premiums?
Data like this is reflected in your insurance rates, whether you’re male or female. If you’re a male under 25, you’ll face high insurance rates no matter what, but you can keep your costs under control in a few ways.
First, don’t do anything to your car to make it faster. Bumping up your engine’s power or modifying the wheels and suspension are taken as messages to your insurance company that you feel the need for speed. Also, don’t risk not telling the insurance company of such upgrades since it may have an impact on coverage in the event of an accident.
Some insurance companies will lower your rates if you take a defensive driving course. A lot of young men are viewed as aggressive drivers – going too fast, weaving in and out of traffic recklessly, getting angry at other drivers. So many companies will reward you with lower rates if you successfully complete a defensive driving course on the theory that you’ll be a safer driver afterward.
You can lower your insurance costs by driving less. Taking a bus or riding your bike as often as you can results in fewer miles driven annually, which may lead to lower rates.
One final method: get married. Married people tend to settle down and be more responsible and therefore are safer drivers than their unmarried counterparts.
Will Insurance Companies Ever Treat the Sexes the Same?
A (very) remote possibility is that some day, companies will charge men and women the same rate for auto insurance, if everything else affecting their premiums is the same. In Europe, some legislation has passed that requires equal treatment. In the United States, there has been some attempt to charge men and women the same for healthcare insurance. Women typically are charged higher rates for that type of coverage.
Some movement has been afoot in a few states to equalize rates, but there’s not a lot of reason to believe it will spread to other states if it ever does happen. The insurance companies’ method of doing business depends on making predictions of drivers’ behavior, and taking gender out of the equation for one category could throw the entire system into jeopardy.
Rather than hope for such a change, contact an independent insurance agent to get help finding a company that fits your needs and budget. At Loiselle Insurance Agency, we understand that each person has unique needs and expectations for insurance, and we make sure you get the coverage you need at the best possible price.