Car Insurers Penalize Male Drivers, Study Says


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    Auto Insurance Picture

    Men are quoted higher prices for car insurance compared to women, according to a new study. | December 20, 2012

Just the Facts:
  • Men are quoted higher prices for car insurance 62 percent of the time, according to a new analysis of insurance quotes from Onlineautoinsurance.com.
  • Men under 25 are hit the hardest, with a gender-based price gap of $676 per year.
  • The study analyzed nearly 5,000 quotes provided by insurance regulatory agencies in seven states: Texas, Iowa, Ohio, Kansas, California, Oklahoma and West Virginia.

RANCHO CUCAMONGA, California — Men are quoted higher prices for car insurance than women 62 percent of the time, according to a new analysis of insurance quotes from Onlineautoinsurance.com.

Men under 25 are hit the hardest, with a gender-based price gap of $676 a year.

The study analyzed nearly 5,000 quotes provided by insurance regulatory agencies in seven states: Texas, Iowa, Ohio, Kansas, California, Oklahoma and West Virginia.

The data showed that if a man and a woman with the exact same driver profile (except for their gender) got quotes for the exact same coverage, the man's quote would be higher 62 percent of the time.

"It's important to note that men weren't always quoted higher prices for coverage," said Onlineautoinsurance.com. "Men and women in the study were quoted the same price for coverage 27 percent of the time, while women were quoted higher prices 11 percent of the time."

Auto insurers point to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) crash statistics as one of the reasons behind the discrepancy.

In 2010, men were involved in 1.25 million more crashes than women, even with more women holding drivers licenses. The average man had a one-in-19 chance of getting into a police-reported crash in 2010. The average woman, meanwhile, had a one-in-25.5 chance.

And the numbers look even worse for males when the focus is on fatal crashes. The average man had about a one-in-3,280 chance of being involved in a crash of that kind. The average woman's chances were one in 8,985.

The impetus for the study was the European Union's ruling that different premiums for men and women constitute sex discrimination. Insurers in the EU were required to discontinue the practice December 21.

"It's important that consumers understand the things that determine how much they pay for insurance, and gender is one of the least understood of those factors," said Cesar Diaz, Onlineautoinsurance.com manager, in a statement.

Edmunds says: Will consumers see the gender-based pricing gap in car insurance as discriminatory or is it just a fact of life?

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