Do Men or Women Pay More for Car Insurance?

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If you are a woman, chances are good that you pay more for car insurance than the men you know.

On average, women pay 0.4% more for auto coverage than men do, and in some places that number can range as high as 7.6%, according to a new study from The Zebra.

The finding is a surprise, given that women tend to be involved in fewer and less serious crashes than men.

According to The Zebra:

“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?”

In fact, a handful of states already ban sex as a rating factor. They are:

  • California
  • Hawaii
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Montana
  • North Carolina
  • Pennsylvania

Yet, The Zebra notes that laws banning sex as a factor in setting rates have not had the impact some expected:

“California’s legislative change has had little effect on insurance prices in the state. Prior to the ban, men paid $1,815 and women paid $1,817 annually for car insurance. Now, both pay $1,822. Michigan’s law has had a larger effect, but that’s due more to the fact that it changed the level of coverage drivers were required to have than it is to the fact that it leveled the playing field between men and women.”

When drivers are younger, males tend to pay far more for insurance than females, The Zebra found. For example, teen boys pay 15.9% more for insurance coverage than teen girls, on average.

But by middle-age years, women are paying more than men, despite being involved in fewer and less serious crashes.

The numbers differ from state to state. Louisiana and Oregon are among the states where the difference between what women and men pay is especially pronounced:

  • In Louisiana, women in their 50s pay $118, or 5.6%, more in annual premiums than men their age.
  • In Oregon, women in their 30s pay $91, or 6.5%, more in annual premiums than men of the same age. Women in their 40s pay $104, or 7.6%, more.

The trend of women paying more than men — despite being involved in fewer crashes — has become more widespread in recent years.

In 2016, women paid more for insurance than men in just 12 states — and overall, men paid 0.52% more than women for coverage.

In each of the next three years, women paid more for insurance in 27 states, a more than doubling of the number of states compared to 2016.

This year, that number has come down a bit — to 21 states, plus the District of Columbia.

Looking for ways to save on car insurance? Shopping around and comparing rates is generally your best bet for finding savings.

If you prefer to let someone else do the rate shopping, let services like The Zebra and Gabi gather quotes for you.

Money Talks News founder Stacy Johnson checked out Gabi, and liked what he found. Find out more about his experience in “How I Found $546 in Car Insurance Savings in Under 10 Minutes.”

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