Is There Still a Gender Bias with Car Insurance?

This is a collaborative post

Historically if you were a female driver, you could expect to pay less in car insurance than your male counterparts. This was seen as something of a bonus because insuring your car was, and still is, massively expensive and something we have to do but probably with bad grace. Things have got so expensive that one million drivers are risking prosecution by taking to the roads without insurance. Now, this is not recommended at all, but we do understand the desire to bring down the cost where possible. So, is it true that women get a better deal today?

woman driving a car

Fewer Accidents

The reason women had access to lower premiums was based on statistical evidence that proved female drivers have fewer accidents than men. It really was that simple. Data collected showed that 73% of road traffic deaths were male, which is nearly three quarters, but why is there such a difference. One of the reasons is because men actually drive more, over 80% of men hold a driving licence compared to only 67% of women and men have an average mileage of over 4000 miles a year whereas women only rack up just over 2200 miles. With more men on the roads, it makes sense that they are statistically ranking higher in accidents but is this fair?

Road Attitudes

Well, on top of this studies were carried out as to the attitude of drivers, and again there was a definite gender split. When asked to rate driving ability men almost always say they are better than average, whereas women do not. Women express more concern about family and loved ones being killed in a crash which in turn seems to make them more considered drivers. When asked to rate speed limits men almost all say speed limits are too low whereas women conversely suggest they are too high. So, there does seem to be differences in how we consider safety on the road. Finally, and contentiously it is said you can tell the gender of a driver by watching the vehicle with men tending to have more aggressive behaviour such as sudden acceleration and breaking. 

Law Changes

However, today there is no reason to think that women get cheaper car insurance. Gender cannot be used as part of the premium calculation, age and experience can be but not gender. This was a change that was enforced in 2012 by the European Court of Justice, which means that technically two identical applications with only gender as the difference would equate to identical premiums. Some people feel that there is still a difference, but this is hard to prove, it was thought to be £300 or more in favour of women and now it seems that men may pay £50 more but with so many factors in the algorithm it is hard to prove. When the UK leaves the EU, there is a chance this directive would be scrapped, but no one can say for sure at this stage. For now, there is no difference in premiums for male or female drivers.


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