It may be sexist and it may be gender discrimination but statistics do not lie: gender drastically impacts the tendencies in driving habits. At least, that is what the insurance companies believe to be true. If insurance companies believe it, then rest assured the gender bias in driving will most definitely affect your insurance rates.
If a male and a female both apply for car insurance at the same company with the same car make and model, same age, same driving history, and the same credit record, the female will pay a lower rate for her car insurance than her male counterpart. But – and this is a big but – this caveat applies only to those between the ages of 16 and 25. Younger women have fewer accidents than men of the same age, but as both groups age, the balance evens out and other factors bear more weight in the car insurance rate equation.
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What is it that young men are doing that makes them have the statistically highest fatality rate between the two genders of that age group? Some things include:
- Not wearing a seatbelt
- Driving faster
- Driving while intoxicated
- Breaking traffic laws
- Driving recklessly
- Driving a higher number of miles
Why is this true? That question is for the psychologists. Perhaps young men attempt daredevil stunts to impress their peers more often than females. Is there an emotional immaturity fueling a feeling of immortality that manifests in reckless driving and, ultimately, a high rate of accidents? Maybe there is a learning curve for men in driving that is slightly sharper than for women. The world may never know. What remains is the fact that insurance companies do not care why; they just know what is and they create rates accordingly.
Women are starting to catch up, however. The rate of female fatalities among young drivers in car accidents has increased over 14% in the last 25 years – while male fatalities among the same age group have dropped by 11%. More women are getting driver's licenses than they were a quarter of a century ago. They also seem to be picking up some of their male counterparts’ bad habits.
Even though things seem to be evening out for young men and women, the bias remains. Wait it out, gentlemen. You will be paying a fair rate soon enough.
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