Who Drives Better, Men or Women?

usage-based-insurance-dataThat old saying about “women drivers” seems to have gone the way of the dinosaur – at least among insurance companies. It’s no secret that men pay more for their premiums. It’s no accident, either.

According to traditional insurance data, male drivers are more likely to get into severe collisions, resulting in pricier claims; hence the bigger premium that men pay when they get behind the wheel. But how accurate is traditional insurance data? Is it really true that women have won the driving badge in the battle of the sexes?

Traditional data says risk calculation is about quality, not quantity

It’s not that women make fewer mistakes than men – it’s that they make different mistakes.

In other words, women get in plenty of car accidents. But according to traditional insurance data, these are more likely to be fender-benders. Men, on the other hand, engage in riskier behaviors more often, such as speeding, not wearing seat belts, and driving under the influence. As a result, when men get in a wreck, they tend to get, well, wrecked.

“No messing around here: When men are at the wheel, crashes are more likely to end in totaled cars, costly medical bills, and well-fed lawyers,” Bloomberg Business wrote.

Here’s how the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety broke it down for 2012:

  • Of the driving fatalities, 71 percent were male
  • Of fatally-injured male drivers, 38 percent had a breath-alcohol content of over 0.08 percent
  • Only 20 percent of fatally-injured female drivers did
  • Of male drivers involved in fatal accidents, 23 percent were speeding
  • Only 14 percent of female drivers were

 Usage based insurance data adds a bit more insight to this picture

So are women better drivers? An infographic based on UBI data would say yes. After looking at “154 million miles of data over 40 million journeys and 19 thousand customers,” Wunelli found that compared to men, women:

  • Exceed the speed limit 12 percent less
  • Hit the brakes hard 11 percent less
  • Drive on roads they know 7 percent more
  • Drive 5 percent less overall
  • Drive 28 percent less at night

Behavior-driven insurance: Attract better drivers with a fairer deal

In the past, drivers with a high risk profile just had to wait it out. Conventional wisdom was simply to keep up the good work and trust that over time, that premium will probably go down. Other pieces of advice have included choosing a conservative vehicle, building good credit, looking for “good driver” and “good student” discounts – and finally, price-shopping.

Pay-how-you-drive insurance puts a better option on the table. When a driver opts for usage based insurance, they can significantly shorten the time it takes for their price tag to reflect their behavior. For those who don’t fit their stereotype, that’s a huge draw.

No insurance company wants its best drivers to go hunting for a better deal because they’re disgruntled by rates they feel they don’t deserve. With PHYD insurance, they don’t have to.

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