How Age And Gender Affect Car Insurance Rates – Forbes

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When it comes to buying car insurance, age and gender can impact rates.

Women tend to pay less for car insurance than men. And it should come as no surprise that young drivers pay the most. Age correlates with driving experience and the risk of getting into a car accident.

The high car insurance rates that young drivers pay start to go down at age 25. You’ll get the best rates in your 50s and early 60s, assuming you have a good driving record. Then auto insurance rates start to creep back up again around age 65.

Average Car Insurance Rates by Age and Gender

Is There a Gender Gap in Car Insurance Rates?

Our analysis shows that female drivers tend to pay less than male drivers.

As drivers age and get more driving experience, the gender gap in rates narrows to a negligible amount. In some age groups, women pay slightly more than men, but around age 35 average rates are the same.

As drivers get older, female drivers start paying less again.

One of the reasons men tend to pay more than women for car insurance is because men are riskier to insure. Men typically drive more miles than women and are more likely to practice risky driving behaviors like speeding, driving while under the influence of alcohol, and not wearing safety belts, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

In nearly every year from 1975 to 2019, men died in car crashes twice as much as females, according to an IIHS analysis of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System. In 2019, 71% of all motor vehicle crash deaths were males.

Seven states prohibit the use of gender as a pricing factor in auto insurance:

  • California
  • Hawaii
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Montana
  • North Carolina
  • Pennsylvania

Risky Teen Drivers Pay Significantly Higher Rates

Our analysis found that the average rate for a teen driver is about $6,800 per year when on their own auto insurance policy. That’s an astronomical number compared to middle-aged drivers who pay a fraction of the cost.

If you are a parent of a teen driver, it’s usually much cheaper to keep them on your own policy. Still, adding a teen driver won’t be cheap, which is why it’s a good idea to shop around to find cheap car insurance for teens.

Inexperience and risky behavior makes teens more likely to get into serious car accidents. Teen drivers ages 16 to 19 are nearly three times as likely as drivers ages 20 and older to be in a fatal crash, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Here are common risk factors for teen drivers:

  • Inexperience. Teens are more likely than older drivers to not recognize or to underestimate dangerous situations on the road.
  • Nighttime and weekend driving. In 2019, 40% of fatal car crashes among teen drivers and passengers ages 13 to 19 happened between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. More than half (52%) of fatal car crashes happened on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday, according to IIHS.
  • Not using seat belts. Teens and young adults have the lowest seat belt usage compared to other groups. Nearly half (45%) of teen drivers who died in 2019 were unbuckled, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
  • Distracted driving. One in three teens who text admit to texting while driving, reports NHTSA.
  • Speeding. In 2019, speed was a factor in 27% of fatal car crashes involving teen drivers between ages 15 to 18, according to NHTSA.
  • Alcohol use. In 2019, 24% of drivers between ages 15 to 20 who died in car crashes had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .01 or higher, according to NHTSA. And 82% of those drivers had BACs of .08 or higher.

Related: Ways to reduce parent anxiety about teen driving

Car Insurance Rates for Senior Drivers

As you reach age 65, you can expect your car insurance rates to start increasing. Our analysis shows that a 75-year-old male driver pays 21% more for car insurance than a 55-year-old male driver. And once you hit your 80th birthday, there’s another spike in rates from age 75 (an average 9% increase for females and 12% for males).

As we get older, our risk of being injured or killed in a car crash increases, which translates into higher car insurance premiums.

Almost 7,700 adults ages 65 and older were killed in car crashes in 2018, the most recent data from the CDC. More than 250,000 adults ages 65 and older were treated in emergency rooms for car crash injuries. That amounts to 20 older adults killed and 700 injured in car crashes every day in the U.S.

NHTSA recommends that older drivers assess age-related changes in vision, physical fitness, attention and their ability to react quickly to sudden changes. The USAA Educational Foundation, AARP and NHTSA have a guide to Driving Safely While Aging Gracefully to help older drivers recognize warning signs of declining driving skills, with tips to remain a safe driver.

Tips to Save On Car Insurance

Age and gender are just two of the factors that affect your car insurance rates. Here are some time tested methods for saving on car insurance:

  • Shop around. It’s smart to compare car insurance quotes from multiple companies to find the best deal. Car insurance rates can vary widely among insurers for the same coverage and same driver.
  • Ask for discounts. Insurers have a wide variety of car insurance discounts, such as price breaks for good drivers, good students, vehicle safety devices and buying multiple policies.
  • Get rewarded for safe driving. Some insurance companies offer usage-based insurance programs, which track your driving behaviors and reward good drivers with better rates.
  • Enroll your teen in a safe-driving course. If your teen completes an approved safe driving course, you could save on your auto insurance. Here are some insurance programs that help teen drivers.

Methodology

We used data from Quadrant Information Services, a provider of insurance data and analytics. Rates are based on a driver with a clean record insuring a Toyota RAV4 with $100,000 in bodily injury liability coverage per person, $300,000 per accident and $100,000 in property damage liability, uninsured motorist coverage and any other coverage required in the state. The rate also includes collision and comprehensive with a $500 deductible.

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