Uneven Road

Women pay more for auto insurance than men, despite getting in fewer accidents

Auto insurance companies use a wide variety of factors — age, gender, driving history and even your credit score — when considering your rate. These companies compile vast amounts of data in order to predict how likely it is you’ll get in a wreck. Once they know that, they set your rate. However, a recent study says auto insurance companies are giving women the short end of the stick, even though they aren’t as likely as men to get into accidents.

The report, from auto insurance site Zebra, examined more than 83 million auto insurance rates between September and December 2020. The researchers found that women, depending on their age and location, can pay up to 7 percent more on car insurance than men. This is a big deal, because female drivers are much safer than male drivers. As MSNBC reports, data from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety shows that male drivers account for about 70 percent of all accidents and 70 percent of all driver deaths.

The Zebra study found that nationally, women pay about .04 percent more than men for auto insurance. In 21 states, women pay more, despite getting into fewer accidents. The worst offender is Florida, where women pay an average of $85 more per year on auto insurance than men.

It seems that the best course of action would be to change the policy — gender shouldn’t be a factor used by auto insurance companies to set rates. But that’s a long road to travel. Currently only seven states ban insurance companies from using gender to determine price.

Chris O'Shea