Published: January 7, 2022Updated: May 5, 2022

Why Do Men Pay More for Car Insurance?

Believe it or not, men pay more for auto insurance in 43 states.

Unfortunately, in the U.S., there’s no federal legislation mandating equal rights for all U.S. citizens regardless of sex, as the Equal Rights Amendment has yet to pass. That’s why, in 43 states, it’s legal for insurance companies to discriminate by charging more for insurance on the basis of the sex. But unlike in most other aspects of society, like in incomes, women are actually better off than men when it comes to auto insurance rates — the men pay more. What’s the reason for this disparity between male and female drivers?

Why Do Men Pay More for Car Insurance?

Why do men pay more for car insurance?

In short, men pay more for insurance than women because, statistically, they pose a higher risk to the insurance providers due to a few differences.

Higher Fatality Rates

Despite being only half of all licensed drivers1, men made up 71 percent of all traffic fatalities in 2019, according to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. That means they’re 145 percent more likely than women to die in traffic accidents.2

Gender Number of people killed in the U.S. in traffic accidents in 2019 Percentage of total traffic fatalities Percentage of total licensed drivers
Male 25,634 71% 50%
Female 10,420 29% 50%

FYI

It’s legal to determine car insurance rates on the basis of sex in every state except for California, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania.3

Higher DUI Rates

Men are also more likely than women to be arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) across all age groups. The disparity was most prevalent for those ages 65 and older, where men are 341 percent more likely to be arrested for DUIs than women in the same age group.

Age group How much more likely were men to be arrested for DUIs in 2019?
15-24 173%
25-29 169%
30-34 165%
35-39 179%
40-44 189%
45-49 180%
50-54 191%
55-59 218%
60-64 256%
65 and over 341%
Average 206%

DID YOU KNOW?

The group of people most likely to be arrested for DUIs, aside from men, is those ages 15 to 24, where nearly 3 percent of the population has been arrested for DUIs. Second is the age group 25 to 29, where nearly 1 percent were arrested for DUIs.4

If you get a DUI, you may need an SR22 or an FR44, depending on your state, which are proof of liability insurance. People with DUIs on their driving records usually see higher auto insurance premiums than people with good driving records.

More Likely to Be Stopped by Police

While men and women were equally likely to have contact with police due to traffic accidents, men were 32 percent more likely than women to be stopped by the police in 2018.

Police contact Male Female Total Difference between male and female contact rates
Police-initiated contact 367,070 299,561 593,005 N/A
Percentage of total U.S. population, ages 16 or older, who had police-initiated contact in 2018 25% 19% 18% 32%
Resident-initiated contact 382,506 396,261 694,308 -3%
Percentage of total U.S. population, ages 16 or older, who had resident-initiated contact in 2018 25% 24% 21% 4%
Traffic-accident contact 136,550 149,542 232,308 -9%
Percentage of total U.S. population, ages 16 or older, who had traffic-accident contact in 2018 10% 10% 8% 0%

In 2018, 1 in 4 men were stopped by the police while driving, compared with 1 in 5 women.5 That’s yet another reason women pay less for car insurance premiums.

Unfortunately for men, insurance companies set policy rates based on population statistics at large, not individuals. That means, even if all else is equal with their female counterparts, men are still likely to pay more than women for auto insurance.

How Men Can Save on Car Insurance Rates

How men can save on car insurance rates

Short of undergoing gender reassignment surgery and aging past 25, when rates drop across the board, there are a few simple ways that men can save money on car insurance:

  1. Get discounts. Take advantage of your car insurance company’s discounts. We’ve seen discounts for everything from paperless billing to annual policies, so make sure you’re doing all you can to save money on premiums.
  2. Drop coverages. If you have an older car, collision coverage and comprehensive coverage probably aren’t as necessary as they are for new cars. Learn more about the difference between collision vs. comprehensive coverage, or read our auto insurance FAQs for even more food for thought.
  3. Bundle insurance. Buying renters or homeowners insurance? You can save money by bundling policies under one provider.

Recap

Of course, sex isn’t the only rating factor affecting car insurance costs. Age, marital status, and state requirements also come into play. To learn more, read our guide on the cost of car insurance. Although factors like sex and age are outside of your control, with a few simple actions, you can pay less for auto insurance premiums each month.

Citations

  1. Highway Statistics 2019. U.S. Department of Transportation. (2021, Mar 5).
    https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/policyinformation/statistics/2019/dl220.cfm

  2. NHTSA. (2019).
    https://www-fars.nhtsa.dot.gov/People/PeopleAllVictims.aspx

  3. Women pay more on average than men for car insurance, despite getting into fewer accidents, study finds. CNBC. (2021, Apr 19).
    https://www.cnbc.com/2021/04/19/women-pay-more-than-men-for-car-insurance-in-21-states-study-finds.html

  4. 2019 Crime in the United States. FBI. (2019).
    https://ucr.fbi.gov/crime-in-the-u.s/2019/crime-in-the-u.s.-2019/topic-pages/tables/table-39

  5. Traffic Stops. BJS. (2018).
    https://www.bjs.gov/index.cfm?tid=702&ty=tp