Why car insurance costs more for men

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Some Geckos sell auto insurance. But if you are a man, your premiums will probably be higher than for a woman. Image: Axel Rouvin/Wikimedia Commons

According to Car Insurance Genie, men almost always pay more for car insurance than women do. Is this a gender-biased system, or do insurance companies have good reasons for the cost disparity? And what can male motorists do to lower those costs?

Men get in more accidents

Insurance companies, like good gamblers, play the odds. These companies earn a living by charging insurers coverage for accidents and mishaps, most of which will never happen. Insurance is supposed to leave the customer in the same position he or she was in before repair and medical costs were incurred by a crash.

Statistics show that men are in traffic accidents more frequently than women. For this reason, women are given a break in the form of the benefit of the doubt. Many have argued that there are likely more men on the road at any given time, making the argument moot, but that disparity has narrowed over the years.

Road aggression

Men are also, according to insurance statistics, more aggressive on the road. They speed more often. They are more prone to road rage, abrupt lane changes and tailgating.

There is some biological basis for this, says Car Insurance Genie. According to the site, some scientists believe that men, with their higher levels of testosterone, are naturally wired to drive faster, take greater risks and, therefore, become involved in more traffic snafus than women.

Ways to reduce those costs

CBS News recently offered some pointers on how men — and, indeed, any driver with high premiums — may be able to reduce those insurance costs.

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New technologies have made it easier to track the personal driving skills of an individual, rather than lumping him or her into a broad group. Some insurance providers are starting to take advantage of this technology. For instance, Progressive Insurance now offers its “snapshot” program, whereby a motorist can record his or her exact speeds and driving skills via a computer key. An unusually safe or cautious driver can save much by opting into such a program.

What you drive factors into insurance costs. A turbo-charged muscle car is going to incur higher premiums than a Prius simply by virtue of the greater power under the hood.

The more affluent your neighborhood, the more insurance companies will expect you to pay. Likewise, those with zip codes in city limits will likely pay more than those with rural addresses.

Keep a clean driving record. The fewer tickets and accidents you have, the more often you will qualify for insurance discounts. Also, ask your insurance provider about professional discounts. Some professions, such as teachers and doctors, often qualify for cut rates based on their profession. Also, if you have served in the military, you may qualify for a lower-rate policy through USAA Insurance.

Always be shopping

Finally, always be shopping. The insurance game is a competitive one. Policies and costs can vary greatly from provider to provider and finding the best one for you may take a lot of leg work.


Car Insurance Genie
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CBS News

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