The amount you pay for car insurance is a reflection of your personal driver profile. There are lots of factors that contribute to your premium, but two impactful rating factors, in most states, are your age and gender. Young drivers generally pay the highest rates, given that they lack experience behind the wheel and are the riskiest to insure. In addition, men usually pay higher rates than women because men are statistically more likely to engage in unsafe driving behaviors.
As of 2021, the average cost of car insurance in the U.S. was $1,674 per year for a full coverage policy. However, the only way to know exactly how much you will pay for car insurance is to get personalized quotes. To help you better understand how age and gender impact car insurance premiums, Bankrate analyzed rate data from Quadrant Information Services for drivers across a wide range of ages for males and females.
Average auto insurance rates by age and gender
When you get a car insurance quote, your insurance company uses multiple criteria to assess your level of risk and calculate your rate. Age and gender are just two of those factors. In addition, the state you live in, your driving record, credit score, claim history and the types of coverage you choose may also impact your premium.
In general, young drivers can expect to pay higher rates than older drivers, and around 70, car insurance rates start to increase again. Due to accident trends and data, men are riskier to insure than women and often pay higher rates. Hawaii and Massachusetts ban the use of age as a rating factor, and California, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Michigan, North Carolina and Pennsylvania prohibit the use of gender as a rating factor.
In the table below, you can see the average annual rates for male and female drivers across a range of ages:
|Age||Average rate for males||Average rate for females|
*16 and 17-year-old rates reflect the added cost to their parents’ full coverage car insurance policy.
How age affects your car insurance rates
When you analyze average car insurance costs by age, you may notice a trend. Coverage starts out relatively expensive for teens and young adults. Over the years, premiums generally decrease as drivers gain more experience behind the wheel. But as drivers reach their senior years, premiums can creep back up. In general, this is due to risk factors associated with each age group.
- Teens: Teens are considered some of the riskiest drivers to insure. Teen drivers are three times as likely to get into a fatal car accident than older drivers. Insurers frequently charge more to insure teen drivers to offset the higher costs associated with teen driving claims.
- Adults: The cost of auto insurance coverage generally begins to drop by the time a driver reaches their early 20s. By 25, drivers might notice a pretty significant reduction in their premiums. Throughout adulthood — provided that drivers have a history of safe driving and no insurance claims — premiums generally continue to drop as drivers gain more experience.
- Seniors: Unfortunately, the downward trend of insurance premiums typically comes to an end as drivers reach their 70s. Aging-related factors like vision or hearing loss and slowed response time might make seniors more likely to get into accidents. However, while seniors may see their insurance premiums increase, they likely will not go back to paying the high rates of teen drivers, assuming their driving record is clean.
Most insurers understand that car insurance can be expensive for certain age groups and offer discounts to help reduce those premiums. Common discounts for young drivers include good student discounts and driver training discounts. Senior drivers may earn discounts for company loyalty or affiliation with organizations such as AARP.
Regardless of your driving record, you should expect your car insurance rate to change with age in most states. That said, it’s still important to avoid tickets and accidents. You need to be proactive to maintain a low rate, even as you get older.
How gender affects your car insurance rates
In most states, gender is used as a rating factor when determining car insurance premiums. In general, men are statistically more likely to engage in risky driving behavior, but this does not automatically mean that men pay more than women for coverage. While the general trend of premiums shows that men pay more than women, this depends on numerous factors.
- State: Your location can determine whether your gender will affect your car insurance premium. Currently, six states do not allow gender to be used as a rating factor: California, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Michigan, North Carolina and Pennsylvania. In these states, rates for men and women should be roughly equal if all the other rating factors — like vehicle type, driving history, etc. — are the same.
- Credit score: In many states, your credit-based insurance score will impact your car insurance premium. So, for example, a male driver with poor credit will probably pay more for car insurance than a male with good credit. On the other hand, a female driver with poor credit could pay more for car insurance than a male driver with great credit. However, this also depends on location. Insurance companies in California, Hawaii, Massachusetts and Michigan are restricted from using credit-based insurance scores as rating factors.
- Driving record: Another factor that affects car insurance premiums is driving record. Drivers with a history of accidents, speeding tickets or other traffic violations typically pay the highest rates. For example, a female driver with a DUI or other serious violation will likely pay a higher rate than a male with a clean driving record. Maintaining a good driving record is one of the best ways to get a low rate for both males and females.
Although your gender will impact your car insurance rate (in most states), it does not necessarily mean that your premium will be above average or extremely expensive. Gender is just one of the factors that contribute to your car insurance rate. If you practice safe driving habits, maintain good credit, take advantage of discounts and shop around for quotes annually, you can probably find a policy that easily fits within your budget.
Frequently asked questions
Bankrate utilizes Quadrant Information Services to analyze 2021 rates for all ZIP codes and carriers in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. Quoted rates are based on 16- to 70-year-old male and female driver with a clean driving record, good credit and the following full coverage limits:
- $100,000 bodily injury liability per person
- $300,000 bodily injury liability per accident
- $50,000 property damage liability per accident
- $100,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury per person
- $300,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury per accident
- $500 collision deductible
- $500 comprehensive deductible
To determine minimum coverage limits, Bankrate used minimum coverage that meets each state’s requirements. Our base profile drivers own a 2019 Toyota Camry, commute five days a week and drive 12,000 miles annually.
These are sample rates and should only be used for comparative purposes.
Age: Rates were calculated by evaluating our base profile with the ages 16-70 (base: 40 years) applied. Depending on age, drivers may be a renter or homeowner. Age is not a contributing rating factor in Hawaii and Massachusetts due to state regulations.
Gender: the following states do not use gender as a determining factor in calculating premiums: California, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Michigan, North Carolina and Pennsylvania.