There are many reasons for inequality in insurance premiums for men and women. It factors in age, your car’s make and model, your credit history, and age. But what’s the biggest issue when it comes to paying insurance?
Why? It’s all down to the statistical differences between male and female drivers.
1st For Women Insurance says: “It is a well-known fact that, statistically, women are lower insurance risks than their male counterparts. This trend is an international insurance phenomenon and is not limited to the local South African short-term insurance industry. Women take fewer risks, make more careful decisions, usually stick to the speed limit and frown upon road rage. In addition, the cost of repairs to vehicles crashed by women, is on average, lower than the cost of damage caused by men.”
According to these statistics from Arrive Alive, on average, 60% more men died in road accidents from 2012 to 2015. These numbers are especially high in the 25-29 and 30-34 age groups.
There is extensive evidence (see this report from Social Issues Research Centre) which shows that young men particularly tend to be more aggressive than their female counterparts and express anger in a very direct manner. This has a big impact on driving behaviours and, consequentially, the likelihood of getting into a crash.
Men also tend to drive more (obviously also influences the statistics), and are more likely to drink before they get behind the wheel.
This W24 article also refers to a study that shows women are better drivers than men since men are more likely to be distracted while on the road.
But, while men are more aggressive and are more likely to deliberately speed and misbehave on the road, their female counterparts are more likely to cause accidents due to slips or lapses (reportedly due to many women succumbing to the “stereotype threat”) and more likely to use their cellphones behind the wheel, which increases the risk of fatalities up to nine times.
Yet, the statistics still point in the direction of men being more risky on the road.
In the European Union, however, new rules came into effect in 2012 that meant insurers were no longer allowed to factor gender into the price of insurance premiums. According to The Telegraph, many insurance firms still found a way to charge men more based on a loophole that allowed insurance companies to charge more based on occupation.
One could argue that it’s fair for women to pay less for insurance premiums not only because of the statistics, but because of other sorts of gender bias.
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Women still pay what is called “pink tax” – a phrase which highlights the fact that women pay more for many things from basic grooming items (this includes the high price of sanitary items) to clothes.
But not only do we pay more for many basic necessities, we’re also paid less than our male counterparts for the same jobs.
A 2015 article from The Conversation shows that South African women would have to work two months more in order to earn the same as their male counterparts in a year. Which means that women still aren’t taken seriously enough and our work still isn’t valued as much as that of men.
So is gender bias unfair? Yes. Is gender bias that benefits women unfair when we’ve always been more marginalised? I don’t think so.
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