When I was a young man, the age of 16 seemed like an unattainable milestone. Do you remember that? That was the age when I could get a driver’s license and experience freedom! I could be one of the cool kids showing up to a party driving myself and not with my mother as a chauffeur. I could drive to a movie. I could…run errands for my father. Then I could…run another errand for my father. Why did I want this again?
Realities aside, driving is something most young folks look forward to and a big milestone for your family. It’s a coming of age point in life. For you as a parent, it’s likely filled with mixed emotions. It might feel great that your new driver can get them self to and from basketball practice. This might also mean that instead of driving them, you’ll be at home praying for safe travel even from down the street.
What about the costs of your new driver? I’m not talking about new gray hairs or your sanity. I’m talking about the additional costs to your household. We might worry equally about our sons and daughters, but the cost of driving is not quite the same across gender.
"If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there." Lewis Carroll
Do teen boys and girls pay differently for car insurance?
Before we get to teenagers and new drivers, let’s briefly touch on differences in auto insurance rates in general. Men and women of all ages have difference rates for car insurance. This is one factor among many, but it is still a factor. Some other factors that go into an individual’s rate include age, residence, credit/fico score, marital status, vehicle you drive, and your history of filing a claim. Each insurer uses a different method and may decide to give more weight to any of these criteria.
Will my teenage daughter pay more for car insurance?
In most cases, your daughter will pay less. In most cases, your son will pay more. Rates can vary based on some of the factors mentioned above, but all things being equal boys cost more. There are exceptions, but more on this later.
Why do boys pay more for car insurance as new drivers?
Sometimes, the reason for something is what you expect it to be. In this case, that’s true. Insurers, with the data to back it up, view male new drivers as more of a risk than female new drivers. This includes more likelihood for speeding, accidents, lack of seatbelts or other driving infractions.
Are there exceptions to rates by gender?
Some states prohibit auto insurance rates that use gender as a factor. Depending on your perspective, this hurts some and helps others. The difference will also vary by state as do all insurance rates.
What can we do about this?
There’s very little you can do about this to begin with. Remember, your new driver has no track record and your insurance company sees this as a risk. The cost to insure a new driver, boy or girl, will always be relatively high to a driver with a safe and established driving record. With that in mind there’s a few things you can do to lower rates (for both men and women).
It’s simple, but an effective way to lower your child’s premiums over time is to get a good track record of driving without incident. This includes avoiding speeding tickets.
What will they drive?
The vehicle being insured makes a difference in the rate being charged. Individual insurers can give you guidance on this, but generally additional safety features help to lower rates.
Take a class
Some insurers will offer a discount if your new driver takes a class on defensive driving. There’s often a cost to these so you may have to consider the payback time. Ask your insurer what kinds of classes they allow to receive a discount like this.
Shop for rates
Rates for new drivers vary, just like everything else, for different providers. Shop around to see if there’s a better rate available.
As your new driver embarks on this new milestone, focus on what you can and can't control in terms of insurance costs. Take time to include your teenager in the discussion and help them understand how their behavior can impact this bill. Drive safe.
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