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Why Do Men Pay More for Car Insurance?

Keep reading to find out why men pay more for car insurance.

By Terence Loose    

When it comes to having a baby and leg-shaving, most men have it a lot easier than women.

But when it comes to auto insurance... well, not so much. That's because, generally speaking, men pay higher premiums than women.

"Men traditionally have been paying more for decades," confirms Loretta Worters, a vice president with the Insurance Information Institute (III), an organization whose goal is to increase public awareness of insurance." And while the cost gap closes somewhat after age 25, it never fully closes."

That's because insurance companies see men as a bigger risk for accidents due to their riskier driving habits, says Worters. And accidents result in insurance companies having to make payouts. They don't like that.

But there are things that men can do to try and lower their rates. Keep reading to learn more.

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Men Have More Accidents

Unfortunately for men, numbers usually don't lie. And the numbers say that men are far riskier drivers. In fact, a National Department of Transportation study entitled "Sex of Drivers Involved in Crashes 2000-2009," found that male drivers were involved in some 18 million more accidents than female drivers during that time frame.

And there's more. "As a group, women tend to get into fewer accidents, have fewer driver-under-the-influence accidents [DUIs] and most importantly less serious accidents than men," says Worters.

In other words, young men are a greater risk for insurers. For that reason, Worters says men under the age of 25 are paying more than their female counterparts who are driving the same type of car with the same coverage. Put simply, she says, "That is because younger men tend to be more aggressive and reckless behind the wheel."

So, for your own health, and to help lower your insurance, try to drive defensively and responsibly.


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Age Matters, Among Other Things

It's not all doom, gloom, and high rates, however. There are some things men can do to lower their rate. One is to simply turn 25, the age at which insurers start to lower rates because they believe more responsibility fosters more cautious driving, says Worters.

Think you might qualify for lower rates? Compare auto quotes now.

"Typically, after age 25, if they haven't had any driving infractions, [a male driver's] rate will start to come down," says Worters. "Also, if they marry when they are in their early twenties, usually rates come down. Insurers view it as [a sign] that they have become more responsible."

Not ready to tie the knot yet? Here are some other discounts you could qualify for:*

  • Low-Mileage Discount. If you're not the typical drive-happy male, but drive fewer miles than the average, you might qualify for a rate break, according to "What Determines the Price of My Auto Insurance Policy?," an article on the III's website.
  • Pay-in-Full Discount. Some companies give you a break if you pay your premium in one payment, rather than installments.
  • Anti-Lock Brakes, Anti-Theft Device, Airbag. Having these safety features - which usually must be factory installed - can help you save.
  • Passive Restraint Discounts. Do you love those seat belts that automatically buckle you in? So does your insurer.
  • Bundled Insurance Discount. Offered for auto and home, or multiple auto insurance policies with the same company.

Change is Comin'. Maybe.

Many males, especially those with impeccable driving records, might cry foul. They might see the system as unfair.

But Worters disagrees. "It has nothing to do with what's fair. It has to do with risk. Rates are based on risk and clearly men still pose more risk than women. Statistics show that men crash, speed and receive tickets more often than women, so it's a no brainer for insurers."

However, women are beginning to catch up in terms of risky driving, says Worters. And that may change the rate discrepancy in the future.

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"Years ago, women would be in the passenger seat or at home as the men drove to work," says Worters. "In 1963, 40 million motorists in the U.S. were women, accounting for 43 percent of drivers. Today, more than 88 million women are licensed drivers, almost half of all motorists in the U.S."

Worters adds that women are also beginning to drive more aggressively. "So if the statistics bear out and women are involved in more accidents, the rates will reflect that risk," she says.

*All discounts not available from all insurers. Amount varies with coverage and carrier.


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