Despite what you might hear, automobile insurance companies aim to provide coverage that is both affordable and reflects the level of risk that each driver presents. So, while your gender can be a factor in determining car insurance premiums, it’s not the only thing insurance providers use to assess risk.
Besides gender, car insurance premiums vary widely based on driving record, vehicle type, intended usage, and location. One of the most important factors is age. In general, younger drivers are considered higher risk and may face higher premiums, while older drivers are often considered lower risk and may benefit from lower premiums.
Here is a general breakdown of how car insurance premiums may change by age:
- Age 18-24: Drivers in this age group are generally considered high-risk due to their lack of driving experience and the higher likelihood of being involved in accidents. Car insurance premiums for this age group can be pretty high but may start to decrease as drivers gain more experience as they get older.
- Age 25-34: Once you get to this age group, you’re likely to see a decrease in car insurance premiums as you gain even more experience driving but remember, premiums can vary widely based on driving record and vehicle type.
- Age 35-44: Depending on your location, the next ten years are generally considered your prime driving years. With more experience and a better understanding of road safety, you may benefit from lower car insurance premiums if other factors like driving record and location remain constant.
- Age 45-65: If nothing else changes, your driver’s experience and maturity should help you continue to see lower car insurance premiums.
It’s all in the data!
First things first, it’s helpful to know that car insurance premiums are based on statistical data and risk assessment. Insurance companies collect and analyze data that affect the likelihood of accidents and claims.
Historically, male drivers are more likely to be involved in accidents and make more insurance claims than female drivers. In fact, some studies show that men drive more aggressively and take more risks when driving than women. Not surprisingly, male drivers account for 75% of all fatal traffic accidents in the U.S.
You would think that insurance companies would charge higher premiums for male drivers, especially for younger drivers considered to be high-risk. But that’s only sometimes the case. While more men drive larger pickup trucks and SUVs, women tend to drive smaller cars, which don’t fare as well in accidents.
What is it about women drivers?
Despite being generally considered to be safer drivers, women are still affected by the unfair stereotype that they are, in fact, bad drivers.
According to the book ‘Women Drivers!: The Emergence of Folklore and Stereotypic Opinions Concerning Feminine Automotive Behavior,’ the idea that men were better drivers has deep roots in American society. In the early 20th century, owning an automobile was a luxury reserved for the wealthy few. And the majority of drivers were men.
But, as cars became more accessible to middle-class women in the 1920s, the ‘women are bad drivers” stereotype began to take shape.
Is charging women drivers more legal?
Since women are involved in fewer accidents and claims, you’d think they’d benefit from lower insurance premiums, but that’s not always the case.
In the U.S., the use of gender in car insurance pricing is banned in California, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and Montana as it’s considered discriminatory.
Government policy is expected to change, though. In fact, in April of this year, Louisiana lawmakers met to discuss prohibiting insurance carriers from using gender as a factor when setting auto insurance rates, citing that women are often charged a higher premium than men even if they have an identical driving record.
So, at what age does car insurance go down for female drivers?
For both men and women, the risk of being in an accident goes way down when they turn 25. However, many insurance companies reduce premiums for female drivers slightly earlier — from the ages of 21 to 25 Then as men hit 25, their premiums come back in line with the drop that female drivers have already experienced.
Still, when all is said and done, women in many states pay more. And although it typically amounts to under $15 a month more, it adds up, it’s unfair, and the data doesn’t really support a higher premium for women. The good news is that women’s rates continue to decrease after age 25, albeit more gradually, until they start to level off between 55 and 60.
What happens after age 65?
Between the ages of 65 and 75 (depending on your insurer), rates may rise again for both women and men.
Studies by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that senior drivers — especially those on certain medications — have slower reflexes, which causes more crashes.
Also, the risk of being injured or killed in an auto accident increases as you age. Since there is more chance that seniors will make a claim with the insurer, the result is higher premiums for as long as you’re legally driving.
All in all, you still need insurance!
Although most female drivers in the U.S. will see their insurance costs rise and fall on the schedule outlined above, three states don’t allow insurers to use age as a rating factor — California, Hawaii, and Massachusetts.
But even removing this significant factor doesn’t mean premiums will remain level over your lifetime. Changes in location, coverage levels, driving record, type of car, credit rating, and marital status are still likely to push your costs up and down over time.
The fact that car insurance rates can vary widely depending on location, vehicle type, and driving history — and in a majority of states, gender, and age — it’s a good idea to shop around and compare quotes from different insurance providers to find the best rates for your individual situation.
And that’s where Guided Solutions comes in. Don’t just go with the first company you find – take the time to compare rates and coverage from multiple insurers. Guided Solutions makes this simple by doing it for you! All we need is a little information to get started, and then we’ll show you personalized quote options that fit your needs and budget. Request your free, personalized car insurance quotes now.