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Debating Gender Based Insurance Rating

Debating gender based insurance rating for cars is something that has been going on for many years, but has recently gained more steam as some states have begun questioning its use in underwriting auto insurance policies. Over the course of time, the car insurance industry developed a whole range of variables that they used to determine auto insurance rates and eligibility for programs for their applicants and to ensure truck cab safety. One of those variables is gender.

Men Pay More for Insurance

On average, males pay more for car insurance than females. This means that if two applicants with the exact same insurance profile aside from gender apply for coverage with an insurer, the male will in all likelihood end up being offered coverage at a higher rate, if he gets approved at all. There is a very logical reason for this, and it is based on statistics. Over the years, the demographic of male drivers has been shown to be more aggressive and more likely to break the law when behind the wheel than the female demographic.

Men drive drunk or after drinking more often than women and are more likely to be cited for DUI. They also get into more car accidents than women and file more claims costing more money than females. All of this can be traced back at least in part to the fact that men historically have driven more miles than women. But that dynamic has shifted tremendously.

Women Driving More Miles

Female motorists are logging more miles than ever, as more women enter the workforce even as the primary wage earner once families begin to have kids. The shifting gender and parental roles as well as other societal factors have forced some insurance companies and state legislatures to rethink gender based car insurance premium assessment. And that is right where the debate is at today.

Debating gender based auto insurance pricing is not a simple task. After all, there is a great deal of evidence pointing to men being more aggressive and more willing to take risks behind the wheel and of that behavior leading to more claims, especially in drivers under the age of 25. Yet none of this proves in any way that any particular make driver is going to exhibit those behaviors. The demographic statistics on gender are just like those on age; credit score; and so on in this regard.

Although these are useful pieces of information that might be helpful in predicting overall payouts for a group as a whole, it can be argued that they are not effective in predicting one driver’s performance or tendency to make claims, because accidents are in some ways a result of chance and because in every demographic there are individuals that exhibit tendencies far above and far below the baseline. Lawmakers who have decided to take up the task of examining the notion of gender based auto insurance pricing have their work cut out for them. Similar efforts have gone on in some states with regard to insurance based credit scoring, with mixed results.

No Simple Answer in Insurance Pricing

Gender, like credit, is a factor that can show some statistical tendencies over a larger group of drivers; but at the same time, it may not be an accurate indicator of how any one single driver will fare as an auto insurance consumer. Debating gender based insurance rating is something that in some ways has gone on since car insurance policies were first offered and women as well as men were allowed to drive, and will continue as time goes by.


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