Women might be worse off financially than men in general, but when it comes to car insurance men – particularly young men – are left paying more.
But young male drivers might have no one to blame but themselves for being charged higher premiums than young women, with evidence showing men perform far worse on roads.
Going through four insurers’ online car insurance processes for quotes, TND initially submitted two or more applications per provider, with gender being the only change between applications.
‘Male’ applicants were quoted up to $155 more than ‘female’ applicants for comprehensive cover by three out of four insurance providers.
The only outlier was Budget Direct, which quoted $45 more for the female application than the otherwise identical male application.
When insurers ask applicants to identify their gender, what they’re really asking is for applicants to outline their sex, which tends to carry biological differences.
Studies show the male brain doesn’t fully develop until age 25, while the female brain matures at age 21.
Having an immature pre-frontal cortex means people are more likely to engage in risky activities, including on the road.
In all but one age category (50 to 59), male drivers die in a far greater proportion than their share of the population.
The statistics are worst for young men; males aged 20-24 make up about 4 per cent of the Australian population, but account for 10 per cent of annual road fatalities.
Women from this age group make up only 2 per cent of road fatalities.
Carslake said the phenomenon of many young men thinking they’re “bulletproof” is why road safety campaigns are designed to encourage empathy for others.
“Our long history of claims data shows that male drivers in certain age brackets have a higher average claims costs than female drivers in that age bracket, and as we price for risk, their premiums will be different,” an AAMI spokesperson said.
Finder insurance specialist Tim Bennett told TND insurers are allowed to discriminate on sex based on the insurance section of the Sex Discrimination Act 1984.