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Can your gender affect your car insurance rates?

There are several factors that determine how much a person can be charged for their car insurance. Some of these could include the driver’s accident history, their location, credit score and how old they are. Unfortunately, with so many variables at hand, insurance companies can come up with a myriad of excuses for charging more when they shouldn’t be.

One unfortunate example is a driver’s gender. Depending on the age, car insurance companies may charge the person more based on what letter they have next to “sex” on their license. It is a highly questionable practice that continues to go on to this very day.

Different ages, different standards

The popular insurance company Esurance provided an explanation on why gender can raise insurance rates on their website. They claim it isn’t due to gender discrimination, but because young males between ages 16-25 have higher accident rates, drive more and take more risks while pushing their limits behind the wheel. They also linked a couple of articles discussing why female drivers are safer than males and mention that male drivers will have more equitable rates when they are older.

However, recent studies have begun to put these reasons under question. While it remains true that men pay higher insurance rates when they are young, studies from 2017 and 2018 reveal that women often pay higher rates when they are middle aged. Unlike the previous demographic, insurance companies have not provided reasons for why this is the case. Some have questioned the accuracy of the statistics, while others are likely keeping quiet to avoid offending anybody.

California fights back

Since the beginning of 2019, California insurance companies are officially banned from using gender in the individual automobile insurance ratings of the state. This was one of the last acts performed by California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones before he left office. He hopes this will improve the rates of the drivers charged for something out of their control. Only time will tell how effective this will be for the state and if the rest of the nation will follow suit.

Regardless, these studies show the lengths insurance companies will do to charge you more money after a serious accident. When getting coverage for your vehicle, you should consider contacting a local attorney before discussing matters with your insurance company so you can receive the compensation you need.

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