Insurance companies examine many metrics in determining insurance rates, and one of those is gender. While this may superficially appear discriminatory, insurance companies believe they have standing with this variance. When insurance companies study information gleaned from crash reports, average yearly mileage and public-domain information such as court records and police reports, they find women to be more responsible, which means they generally pay lower rates for insurance than men.
Male drivers speed more frequently. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, men are 10 percent more likely to be involved in fatal accidents related to speeding. Aggressive driving in general is more attributable to men, with passing other vehicles and keeping up with faster traffic increasing as age decreases.
Male drivers drink and drive at higher rates than women, resulting in higher crash and fatality rates. According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, more than twice as many men than women were arrested for driving while intoxicated in California in 2010. This may be attributable to the increased levels of aggression and speeding habits male drivers exhibit, resulting in increased attention from police. Rates increase significantly after a DUI conviction.
Accidents in relation to insurance rates take on two primary factors, both of which work against male drivers: speeding frequency and lower seat belt use. Poor driving records contribute to higher overall insurance rates, as does the likelihood that the driver will injure himself and others. To this end, male drivers are estimated to wear their seat belts, on average, 10 percent less often when compared to women, according to the website Esurance.com
Choice of car -- and color of those cars -- works against male drivers when it comes time to get car insurance. Sports cars and motorcycles are preferred by males, both of which are considered higher-risk vehicles. On the other end of the scale, driving large sport-utility vehicles leads to very high rates, due to the damage done to other vehicles in a crash. Insurance rate quotes are affected by multiple things. Combining horsepower data, crash and intoxication frequency and age, if you're a male driver you will pay more if you want that new rocket or SUV.
Due to these factors, over the course of his life, a male will pay much more for insurance than a female counterpart. CBS MoneyWatch, citing insurance shopping service CoverHound.com, reports that men on average pay $15,000 more than women over their lifetimes. Although the rate disparity can be as much as 50 percent more between males and females in their teenage years, rates tend to even out during the stage when both genders tend to settle down and start families. However, as men and women get older, and depending on the state in which they reside, women may actually pay up to 5 percent more than men between the ages of 35 and 50.
- Esurance: Why Women Pay Less for Car Insurance
- The Car Insurance Guide: Female Drivers vs. Male Drivers
- National Highway Traffic Safety Administration: Drivers' Attitudes Toward Speed and Speeding
- National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism: Epidemiology and Consequences of Drinking and Driving
- Forbes: The Top 10 Most Popular Car Brands With Men and Women
- CBS News: How Men can Beat Gender Bias in Car Insurance
- Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images