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Juliet McGuire

Does your gender affect your car insurance?

I recently came across an article about a law being passed in California that has banned the use of gender in setting insurance rates. I was shocked that this was even a thing to begin with, not that I should have been shocked really. But it got me thinking, where is South Africa at when it comes to car insurance and gender. Do women pay more?

It was reported last year in an article on W24 that women, in fact, pay less than men when it comes to car insurance. I couldn’t find any hard evidence of this, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t any, it just proves that I am no Sherlock Holmes.

But, stats show that women are better drivers than men (I knew this all along, of course). How can one be so sure, you ask? Well, women tend to be involved in less accidents than men. Now, we can go in to all the reasons for this, but for the sake of tranquility, let’s all just keep our opinions to ourselves.

Single and ready to mingle?

I have been all over the internet, mind you, trying to work out if gender is such a huge factor when it comes to car insurance. I have spoken to a number of car insurance brokers and everything points in the same direction; gender doesn’t necessarily affect car insurance premiums in South Africa, but would you believe that being single versus married does?

That’s right. If you are married you are likely to pay less than if you were single. A study conducted in 2015 by insurance marketplace InsuranceQuotes.com found that on average, a married 20-year-old paid 21 percent less than a single 20-year-old for the same coverage. Why the difference? According to John Egan of creditkarma.com, insurers believe married men and women are more responsible and mature than single people are. Just using myself as case study here, this is not always the case!

Of course, this isn’t going to be the deal breaker. There are so many factors that come in to play when it comes to how much your car insurance will cost you. Factors that include the car you drive, your location, your age, your driving history, your insurance claims history etc.

The best thing to do when shopping around for insurance is to do as much research as possible and to ask as many questions as you can. Remember, insurers are there to make money! They are not there to cradle you in their arm when you are in an accident or someone smashes your car window. Nope, they want your moola. So be sceptical, be cautious and do your homework!

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