• Oct 3rd 2011 at 2:00PM
  • 192
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 for adult drivers while young men paid 187% above the base rate. Today, young women pay 120% above the base rate and men pay 185%.

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
      • 3 Years Ago
      Take a drive around the Fort Lauderdale/Miami area and see how many nutjob female drivers there are.
      • 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.
      • 3 Years Ago
      sexist companie's every one should pay same.
      • 3 Years Ago
      I've said it before, and I'll say it again: Women are more likely to drive distracted, but men are more likely to drive aggressively. Both are dangerous, but it would fit with the data of men having more deadly crashes but women more crashes overall. Start the argument!
      • 3 Years Ago
      Women are unsafe drivers? Don't make me laugh! About a month ago, I was rear-ended while stopped at a stop sign. The MALE who hit me was texting at the time. He had at least a quarter mile of unobstructed view before he crashed into my car's back end. In the last 20 years, I have been rear-ended while STOPPED at a stop sign or red light FOUR TIMES, and it has ALWAYS been by a MALE driver who was 1) half asleep after leaving his girl friend's apartment, 2) drunk, 3) on drugs, and 4) distracted by texting. This last rear-ender hit me while he was driving well over the posted speed limit, doing extensive damage to my car, causing me whiplash, severe headaches, and back pain, none of which are the least amusing to a geriatric.
        • 3 Years Ago
        sounds like you spend more than the allotted time at a stop sign which points the finger again at the female as not paying attention to her surroundings if you saw someone for a 1/4 of a mile then you also had time to get out of the way and you did not move. At least one of the guys was watching and thinking ok the driver ahead will move before i get there. Also I do agree that still all the guys could have been at fault wholly, however if there is something you can do to get out of the way and you don't its also your fault.
        • 3 Years Ago
        well im a male and never crashed so ha :D
      • 3 Years Ago
      see someone doing something stupid behind the wheel. chances are its a female.
      • 3 Years Ago
      if you have a problem with female drivers then stay off the sidewalks.
      • 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!"
        • 3 Years Ago
        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
          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
        Naw, its just the women's lib catching up with them. They wanted to be equal, well now their getting it.
      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.
        • 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?
      Lawrence G
      • 3 Years Ago
      Damn women," can't live with them,can't live without them" lol
        • 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.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Yes, however it is rare to see a women driver who is not on a cell phone, and why is thier left leg always above the arm rest, maybe to remind them not to keep the lreft foot on the brake, which by the way will amaze the good driver to know that way too many people drive with two feet and I am talking about those with automatic transmissions
      • 3 Years Ago
      woman are the worst for tailgating and speeding.
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