EU Debate Applies to US Auto Insurance Market, Too

Oct 12, 2010, 08:00 ET from Online Auto Insurance, LLC

LOS ANGELES, Oct. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- A new debate in the European Union is making consumers and auto insurance industry representatives look twice at the practice of taking gender into account when determining premiums for prospective policyholders — a practice that is also allowed in the majority of the states. The issue was raised after an official requested that the EU high court determine whether the practice violated European anti-discrimination laws.

Although insurers do use some factors in premium calculations that are out of a driver's control, different companies weigh each factor differently. recommends that drivers conduct a thorough auto insurance quotes comparison in order to find carriers that will accommodate their driver profiles.  

Most of the time, a comparison of premiums between a male motorists versus a female motorist, in which every other factor is the same except for gender, will show that the male is assessed higher rates for the same amount of coverage. The reasons for this are that U.S. statistics have shown that males get in a greater number of accidents and that the costs associated with their injuries also end up being higher.

For instance, according to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, approximately 58 percent of all reported motor vehicle crashes in 2008 involved a male driver.

And although the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) report that the proportions of males and females involved in fatal and injury motor vehicle crashes in 2005 were nearly equal — with men accounting for 52 percent of fatalities and injuries — the associated costs were much higher for men. According to the CDC, men accounted for nearly 74 percent of the related costs from those crashes.


These statistics indicate that males pose a greater risk to an insurance company than do their female counterparts. And, since these companies charge higher premiums for higher risks, men tend to pay more in the states that allow gender to be taken into account. Only two states — Montana and Massachusetts — ban insurers from using gender to calculate premiums.

To learn more about the factors that affect rates and how to find the best price for coverage, consumers can visit for access to informative articles and a free quote-comparison generator.

SOURCE Online Auto Insurance, LLC