• Oct 3, 2011
Male drivers tend to pay more for insurance (Nate Rober... Male drivers tend to pay more for insurance (Nate Robert, Flickr).
Listen up men, your Y chromosome makes driving more expensive. And even though data shows you may not be a worse driver than those with double-X chromosomes, it's unlikely insurance companies are going to cut you any breaks.

But they might start increasing rates for women. So we'll all share the pain.

Insurance companies have long worked under the belief that, because men are more risky on the road, they should pay higher rates.

But recent studies have shown that men get into more accidents only because they drive more, about 60% of all miles driven. When you average out accident rates with how many miles each gender drivers, men and women are actually pretty even.

What's more, as one University of Michigan study showed, women are more likely to crash into other women. Those kinds of accidents are more common than expected, given women drive fewer miles than men.

Loretta Worters, vice president of communications at the Insurance Information Institute, said times are changing, and insurance companies may have to rethink the way they charge customers.

"Years ago, women were not on the road as often," she said. "They would be in the passenger seat or at home as the men drove to work, and insurance policy rates are all correlated to risk."

The insurance rate disparity is, in some ways, a vestige of a time gone-by: in 1963, 40 million motorists in the U.S. were women, accounting for 43% of drivers. Today, more than 88 million women are licensed drivers, almost half of all motorists in the U.S.

Worters argues that "men are more daring, but women are changing and starting to develop similar habits, starting to become a little more aggressive. As a society, we're now always on the go."

Still, Worters said she does not believe that the premium for male insurance is antiquated.

Premiums for young women have already risen. Thirty years ago, young women drivers paid 46 above the base rate. Today, young women pay 120.

Even though there is still disparity in those figures, there may be good reason for that. While women get into accidents more frequently, men's accidents are more severe and cost more to insure.

Men's crashes tend to be more fatal. According to a study by the John Hopkins School of Public Health, women were involved in more 5.7 crashes per million miles driven, while male drivers had 5.1 crashes over the same distance. But even though they get into fewer crashes, the Johns Hopkins study said men are three times more likely to die in a car crash.

But women might be racing to catch up: Drunk driving is up for women, according to the FBI, which could cause a surge in insurance rates. And female teen accidents are rising, partly because of technological distractions like texting.

Bottom-line: Insurance companies are quick to increase rates on any group of people the companies believe are costing them money, so if women drivers start behaving more like men, their rates will start going up. But one thing's for sure: Don't expect anyone to pay less.



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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 192 Comments
      • 3 Years Ago
      Most of the comments are right on target. Many are distracted by a variety of issues;cellphones,applying make up,small children in back seats and in some instances on the phone, drinking coffee etc and eating a burger all at the same time in the passing lane ( probably 10/15 MPH under the speed limit.
      GAIL
      • 3 Years Ago
      The worst drivers I see here in FL are either very elderly (plowing through crowds and stores) seem to be their favorite. Or typically young woman on their cell phones, texting, eating and smoking a cigarette all at the same time. You take your life in your hands driving down here.
      Bill
      • 3 Years Ago
      i don't care if men pay less as long as women pay their fair share.
      Steven R. Russell
      • 3 Years Ago
      Let the bank repossess your vehicle like they did mine, some 4 years ago now, and then you'll be able to ride the Bus for $1.00 Bus Fare each way, with free transfers. Extremely cheap indeed.
        The-O-Door
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Steven R. Russell
        Steve, that's exactly what I'm going to do, except for the repo part. My vehicles are paid for. But I'm going to park them, drop the insurance and registration and take the bus. OH WAIT! There are no buses within 30 miles of my house. Do you have a spare room at your house?
      srlaperla
      • 3 Years Ago
      Is it just me, or does this article prove only ONE THING...? That insurance companies now need a reason to screw EVERYONE equally and that their rebuke of superior female driving skills is nothing more than "its time to close the door on THAT loophole!"
        metusmetu
        • 3 Years Ago
        @srlaperla
        Sounds like it, and don't forget, the state you live in is probably "screwing" you too, by adding taxes, and surcharges to your insurance premiums!! Like their not HIGH enough already!
          • 3 Years Ago
          @metusmetu
          Also now in many states the insurance companies are allowed to treat you like the credit card companies do. If you have a credit problem with one credit card, the others can all raise your rates. If you have bad credit, now (almost two yrs now this law was passed) the insurance companies can consider you a higher risk and charge you more. Its all just about money. The government is "supposed" to look out for us so they pass laws so credit card companies can only screw us a little. So what came out in the news this past week? The credit card companies (the banks) are going to start charging a $5.00 monthly fee if you use your debit (credit) card to "make up" for the money they are loosing from those darn laws the government imposed to "protect" us consumers!
        R L Baker
        • 3 Years Ago
        @srlaperla
        Naw, its just the women's lib catching up with them. They wanted to be equal, well now their getting it.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Take a drive around the Fort Lauderdale/Miami area and see how many nutjob female drivers there are.
      jsinvent
      • 3 Years Ago
      Racist I'm guessing. My Sisters got me tickets them me.
      elusive one
      • 3 Years Ago
      Considering the risky, rude behaviors that predominantely appear to be displayed by females, in my experience, this story still has quite a bit of bullshit woven into it. But who knows, maybe the next time I check my "face" in the mirror in traffic at 60 mph someone may see me-but I'll be looking hot at the crash site so who cares.
      Sieben
      • 3 Years Ago
      Women are the cause of many accidents
      • 3 Years Ago
      if you have a problem with female drivers then stay off the sidewalks.
      Lawrence G
      • 3 Years Ago
      Damn women," can't live with them,can't live without them" lol
        jebstraydog
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Lawrence G
        Outdated thinking, Larry. Guys are realizing they're MUCH happier living without women. Thanks to feminism, women are trying so hard to "out-man" the men, they give it away left and right. Guys couldn't be happier about it.
      Jeff
      • 3 Years Ago
      Insurance companies will use any excuse they can find to raise your rates, and then not pay on claims. This is nothing new. And no, I am not some young kid who has had his insurance canceled for driving like an idiot. I am 55 years old, and I have never had a traffic ticket or a chargable accident. But I was a cop for years, and I saw what rat-bastards these insurance companies really are.
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