As most Canadian drivers know, there are many factors that influence car insurance rates, and gender is one of them. In fact, gender and insurance go hand in hand. While your gender is not the end all be all when it comes to calculating insurance premiums, it matters. We explain how gender can impact insurance premiums below.
Gender and car insurance in Canada
Let’s begin by settling the debate once and for all about whether gender influences Ontario car insurance rates. So, does gender impact car insurance premiums? Yes. However, gender is one of multiple factors that determine car insurance premiums. It is not the only factor. That said, it is a factor that insurance companies look at, mainly because statistics reveal that there is a correlation between a driver’s gender and their risk level.
Is it legal for gender to influence car insurance rates in Canada?
Given gender discrimination laws in Canada, you may be wondering whether it’s legal for an insurance company to partially base a customer’s premium on their gender. The answer is yes, and it is legal for an insurer to base a customer’s car insurance rates on their gender. In fact, the Canadian Human Rights Commission explicitly states that this is permitted within the insurance industry.
That said, it is worth noting that various lobbying organizations have attempted to prohibit insurance companies from considering certain factors in a customer’s premium. Most of these factors are ones that people face discrimination for in other realms, including gender and age. Despite these attempts, none have been successful, and so insurance companies have been able to continue factoring these details into their risk calculation algorithms.
Car insurance rates in Canada: Male drivers vs. female drivers
Research shows that male drivers tend to pay more for car insurance than female drivers. Why is this, you may be wondering? It comes down to the fact that historical data reveals that male drivers are statistically more likely to get into car accidents than female drivers. For example, of the 1,851 deaths that were reported to Statistics Canada and caused by transport-related accidents in 2018, 1,313 were males and 538 were females. Statistics Canada data also reveals male drivers to be significantly more likely to engage in driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol than female drivers. In 2017 and 2018, 20,056 males were found guilty of impaired driving. This is roughly four times more than the 5,550 females found guilty of driving under the influence. There are several other statistics similar to these that reveal clear patterns and differences between male and female drivers:
Male vs. female car insurance rates by Canadian city
- Between the ages of 17-19, men pay 27% more annually for car insurance than women
- Between the ages of 20-24, men pay 11% more annually for car insurance than women
- Between the ages of 25-30, men pay 3% more annually for car insurance than women
- Between the ages of 31-40, men pay 5% more annually for car insurance than women
- From the age of 40 onwards, men and women pay equally for car insurance
- Between the ages of 17-19, men pay 16% more annually for car insurance than women
- Between the ages of 20-24, men pay 14% more annually for car insurance than women
- Between the ages of 25-30, men pay 19% more annually for car insurance than women
- Between the ages of 31-40, men pay 14% more annually for car insurance than women
- Between the ages of 40-50, men pay 11% more annually for car insurance than women
- Between the ages of 50-60, men pay 11% more annually for car insurance than women
- Between the ages of 17-19, men pay 12% more annually for car insurance than women
- Between the ages of 20-24, men pay 2% more annually for car insurance than women
- Between the ages of 25-30, men pay 2% more annually for car insurance than women
- Between the ages of 31-40, men pay 3% more annually for car insurance than women
- Between the ages of 40-50, men pay 5% more annually for car insurance than women
- Between the ages of 50-60, men pay 4% more annually for car insurance than women
As you can see, this study revealed that in three major Canadian cities, male drivers are more likely to pay more for car insurance than female drivers, regardless of their age. (Toronto was the exception to this where drivers aged 40 and above pay a nearly equal amount for car insurance, regardless of gender.) Therefore, it is clear that gender affects auto insurance rates in Canada.
Other factors that affect auto insurance rates in Canada
Gender is one factor that influences auto insurance rates in Canada, but it isn’t the only factor. If you’re wondering how insurance companies determine premiums in Canada, you’re in the right place. Below, we outline a list of other important factors that have the ability to impact how much you pay for car insurance in Canada, regardless of gender:
Age is a significant factor in determining how much you pay for car insurance in Canada. Insurance companies believe younger drivers to have less experience and, therefore be more likely to get into accidents. As such, young drivers, especially those under the age of 25, typically pay higher insurance premiums.
Your location matters when it comes to your car insurance rates. Ultimately, an insurance agent wants to know where you will be driving your car more frequently, which is why they will ask for your address. They will then assess factors like the crime rate in your neighbourhood, as well as the amount of traffic. Policyholders who live in high-traffic or high-density areas, like cities, may pay more for insurance than those in rural areas with less traffic. The likelihood of a climate-related incident in the place you live, like a flood or wildfire, could also impact your rates since it has an impact on the probability of your car being damaged.
Vehicle make, model, and year
The specifics of the type of vehicle you drive will also be considered by an insurance agent. Different cars result in different insurance rates. A general rule of thumb is that more expensive cars, especially sports cars with higher speed capabilities, will be more expensive to insure than cheaper cars. In addition, cars that are among the most commonly targeted by thieves may also come with higher premiums. That said, some cars will result in lower premiums, like those with high safety rates or ones with anti-theft devices.
How often you drive your car
How often you drive your car will also impact your insurance rates. The more you drive, especially if it is well above the average amount other drivers spend on the road, the higher your rates will be, as an insurance company will view this to mean that you are at a greater risk of getting into an accident. Alternatively, if you drive less and can prove this to your insurance provider through your annual mileage, you may qualify for a lower insurance premium.
Marital status can also influence how much you pay for auto insurance in Canada. Similar to why gender is considered, data suggests that drivers who are married are less likely to get into accidents than drivers who are single.
Finally, your credit score may also have the ability to influence your car insurance premium in Canada. Not all insurance companies consider credit scores, but some do. Generally, the higher your credit score, the better your rates will be, as a higher credit score speaks to your financial responsibility and, by extension, your risk level as a policyholder.
How to lower your car insurance rates in Canada
Whether you’re a male driver or a female driver, chances are you would love to save some money on car insurance. The good news is that there are many ways to do so, and BrokerLink is here to tell you all about them. Keep reading to discover a few broker-approved tips on how to lower your car insurance rates in Canada:
Shop around for insurance
Before settling on a policy, do your due diligence by shopping around. This means researching insurance companies near you, contacting them to ask about the insurance products they offer, and requesting a free quote from each. Next, compare these quotes to determine which offers the best coverage for your needs at the most competitive price. If you need help doing this, reach out to a BrokerLink insurance advisor who would be happy to do this for you.
Consider how different cars influence insurance rates
If you haven’t bought a car yet but your goal is to keep your insurance rates low, then do some research into which types of cars come with lower premiums. Generally speaking, less expensive cars cost less to insure than luxury cars. In addition, cars with higher safety ratings and more safety features, like anti-theft devices or anti-lock brakes, can also result in cheaper rates. While considering car models, research theft rates for different types of cars and avoid buying any of the models on that list.
Drive safely to keep your record clean
Safe drivers often benefit from cheaper insurance rates. This means that one of the easiest ways to lower your car insurance rates in Canada is simply by driving responsibly. Do not speed, obey all traffic laws in your province and municipality, and practice defensive driving techniques, like leaving lots of space between you and other vehicles. Ultimately, if you can maintain a driving record that is clear of speeding tickets, collisions, DUIs, and other traffic violations, you will be rewarded with a lower premium.
Get rid of car coverage you no longer need
By now you probably know that adding coverage to your car insurance policy usually leads to an insurance premium increase. If you’re on a tight budget, this is bad news. Thus, we recommend reviewing your coverage annually. This way, you can assess whether your coverages are all working for you, and if they’re not, you can get rid of them. Getting rid of optional coverages that may no longer be serving you, like collision or comprehensive coverage, can instantly lower your premium.
Choose a lower deductible for your car insurance policy
Premiums and deductibles go hand in hand, with the deductibles you select for your policy being one of the largest factors that influence your premium. If you want to qualify for a cheaper premium, raising your deductibles is one of the most effective strategies at your disposal. Since the deductible is the amount you are required to pay in the event of a claim before the insurance company covers the rest, an insurer will lower your rates if you agree to a higher deductible. Never choose a deductible that is so high you could not reasonably afford to pay it in the event of a claim, but at the same time, choosing the highest one you are comfortable with can result in considerable savings.
Work with a licensed insurance advisor when shopping for insurance
Insurance brokers are one of the best resources at your disposal when shopping for car insurance - especially if you want to keep your rates low. Take BrokerLink’s insurance brokers as an example. All of our brokers are fully licensed and have years of experience finding coverage for policyholders just like you. When you reach out to us, you will be assigned your own insurance advisor, who will take it upon themselves to find a policy that’s within your budget. They can shop around on your behalf and unlock auto insurance discounts to find a competitive price for your coverage.
Sign up for driving lessons from a professional
Signing up for professional driving instruction can allow you to qualify for a driver’s education car insurance discount. Why? These types of recognized programs teach drivers safe driving tips and habits that ultimately make them less likely to get into accidents on the road. If you can prove that you completed a driver’s education or defensive driving program, your insurance provider will see you as less of a risk and lower your rates accordingly. Young drivers, in particular, can benefit from this discount given that their rates are usually among the highest.
Ask about auto insurance discounts
If you want to save money, it helps to be direct. Ask an insurance broker about the auto insurance discounts that may be available to you. For example, if you don’t drive frequently, a broker might be able to recommend an occasional driver discount. Other types of discounts you may be eligible for include winter tire discounts, safe driver discounts, telematics discounts, driver’s education discounts, and other employer or education-related discounts.
Bundle insurance policies
Bundling insurance policies is one last tip for lowering your insurance rates in Canada. Policyholders of all genders may be eligible for bundles. An insurance bundle is when you buy more than one policy together from the same provider. However, not all types of insurance can be bundled. Eligibility requirements vary between insurance companies, though most of the time, home insurance and car insurance can be bundled, as can multiple car insurance policies. Insurance bundles not only result in major savings but also make keeping track of your policies and their corresponding payment deadlines and renewal dates far more convenient.
What types of car insurance coverage do male drivers and female drivers need?
No matter your gender, there are certain types of car insurance coverage that all drivers can benefit from. We outline a few of these below, some of which are mandatory in Canada and some of which are optional:
Third-party liability coverage
Liability insurance is a must for all drivers in Canada. As the name suggests, it comes into play when the policyholder is found liable for a car accident, covering expenses like medical fees, legal fees, and the cost of repairing a damaged vehicle.
Accident benefits coverage
Accident benefits coverage pays for the cost of medical attention if bodily harm results from a collision. Specifically, it can cover injury-related expenses not covered by health insurance, such as the cost of prescription medication, along with loss of income and funeral fees related to the accident.
Direct compensation - property damage coverage
Direct compensation - property damage coverage can pay for the cost of repairing your car if you are involved in an accident that you did not cause, and your car was damaged.
Uninsured automobile coverage
Uninsured motorist coverage is mandatory in most Canadian provinces. It reimburses policyholders if they get into accidents with drivers who do not have car insurance and are, therefore, driving illegally. Other circumstances it covers are accidents with underinsured drivers and hit-and-run accidents.
Collision coverage is a popular type of optional auto insurance coverage in Canada. It will help pay for the cost of repairing your vehicle if it is damaged in an accident with another car, animal, or object. Collision coverage most often applies to major car accidents where extensive damage is done. As such, it’s important to choose a coverage limit that is equal to the value of your vehicle.
Comprehensive coverage protects your car while parked. It is optional but is generally recommended, especially for vehicles of high value. Comprehensive insurance covers policyholders if their vehicles are damaged by an insured peril, like vandalism, theft, fire, wind, water, or falling objects. If your car is lost or damaged due to a listed peril in your policy, your insurance provider will reimburse you for the cost of repairing or replacing it.
Get in touch with BrokerLink for more insight into gender and car insurance
Do you still have questions about how gender affects car insurance rates in Canada? Contact BrokerLink today. We would be happy to discuss the impact of gender on car insurance premiums, as well as the other factors that influence rates. Beyond this, we can provide you with an accurate and reliable car insurance quote. Get in touch today by giving us a call, visiting a local BrokerLink insurance branch, or using the online quote tool on our website.
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