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The calculation for car insurance premiums can seem like an arcane-at-best art that combines a multiple factors to arrive at a number that almost always seems at least a little too high. In addition to the actual vehicle, factors like age, gender and marital status are known to play a role in the final bill. A newly released study is actually challenging some of the beliefs about rates, though.

An analysis from InsuranceQuotes.com finds that walking down the aisle can mean big savings on auto insurance – at least during your 20s. For example, a married 20-year-old would pay an average of 21-percent less than the same person who is single. Unfortunately, the lower bill doesn't last long, and by age 25, the discrepancy falls to just seven percent. It shrinks to only two percent for those over 30 years old.

InsuranceQuotes.com senior analyst Laura Adams spoke to Autoblog and said insurance companies are basing the premiums on the actual claims they get from people in these demographics. Being married "really plays a role for young people," she said. "They are not a risky consumer."

There is also a commonly held perception that men are riskier drivers and therefore pay higher insurance rates. This study somewhat challenges that belief, though. At 20 years old, males do have premiums 22-percent greater than a woman of the same age. But after 25, the gap shrinks to just 3 percent, and then between 30 and 55, females actually pay slightly more. "We saw the same thing last year," said Adams when the website conducted the study.

Age is also a well-known cause of higher premiums, and it's true that young folks get things the worst. The study finds that between 20 and 25, rates drop an astounding 41 percent and keep falling all the way to 60. Although, as a person gets older the numbers start ticking up again with the average 75-year-old paying about 17-percent more than someone who is 60.

Adams indicates the biggest coming trend in auto insurance are pay-as-you-drive programs. Young men especially can realize "substantial savings" because they can prove themselves better behind the wheel than the overall data suggests.

All of the study's information assumes this hypothetical person to be employed with a bachelor's degree, have a clean driving record, an excellent credit score and driving a 2012-model-year sedan. The analysis then compared the premiums nationwide based on info from the largest carriers representing 60 to 70 percent of the market.

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Want to Save on Car Insurance? Get Married!

SAN FRANCISCO – Embargoed Until March 26, 2015 at 12:01 am ET – Marital status, gender and age significantly affect how much Americans pay for car insurance, according to a new insuranceQuotes.com report. For instance:

Marital Status
· Getting married young can save a lot of money on car insurance; a married 20-year-old pays 21% less than a single 20-year-old for the same policy.

· At age 25, the average marriage savings is down to 7%, and it falls to around 2% at age 30 and beyond.

· Hawaii is the only state where insurance companies are not allowed to factor marital status into their rate calculations.

· 20-year-old men pay 22% more than 20-year-old women for the same coverage.

· The gap narrows to just 3% at age 25.

· From ages 30 to 55, average premiums are actually slightly lower for men.

· It flips after age 55, when women pay slightly less than men.

· Three states do not allow insurance companies to factor gender into their rate calculations (Hawaii, Massachusetts and North Carolina).

· insuranceQuotes.com did not observe any cost differences between male and female drivers in Pennsylvania and Montana, even though using gender to calculate premiums is technically allowed in both states.

· Car insurance costs decrease every year until age 60.

· The sharpest drop is from age 20 to age 25, when rates decrease 41%.

· From age 25 to age 60, rates drop another 18%.

· There isn't much of a penalty for senior citizens. 75-year-old drivers only pay 17% more than 60-year-olds. Put differently, 75-year-olds pay 43% less than 20-year-olds.

· Hawaii is the only state where insurance companies are not allowed to factor age into their rate calculations. In California, age cannot be explicitly included, but years of driving experience can be included.


"Plenty of families worry about when grandma or grandpa should stop driving, but the data shows that drivers in their teens and early 20s are much more risky," said Laura Adams, insuranceQuotes.com's senior analyst. "Young drivers, in particular, can save money by qualifying for good student discounts, signing up for pay-as-you-drive programs and competing driver safety courses."
insuranceQuotes.com commissioned Quadrant Information Services to measure the impacts of gender, age and marital status on car insurance premiums using data from the largest carriers (representing 60-70% of market share) in each U.S. state and the District of Columbia.

Assumptions included: driver is employed, drives a 2012 sedan, has a bachelor's degree, a clean driving record, an excellent credit score and no lapse in coverage with the following limits: $100,000 (bodily injury per person) / $300,000 (bodily injury per accident) / $100,000 (property damage per accident), $10,000 (personal injury protection or medical payments) and a $500 deductible for comprehensive and collision.

About insuranceQuotes.com:

insuranceQuotes.com is the complete insurance comparison shopping site for consumers and the premier customer acquisition platform for insurance agents and carriers. Offering best-in-class research and access to the widest network of carriers and agents in the industry, we make the process of finding the right insurance policy simple and personal. Get unbiased information as you shop for coverage options, make smart comparisons on the plans that best suit your needs, and get connected with providers through one go-to site.

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