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California bans insurance companies from using gender to set rates


So, let’s say you live in California and have two teenage twins, one is a boy and the other one’s a girl. They just turned 16 and are eager to get their license and finally get behind the wheel. However, you’re horrified to find out that your son is going to be charged $20 more per month than his twin sister for the same coverage.

That’s because for decades insurers have been discriminating against gender and charging higher rates for teen males. That blatant discrimination is stopping thanks to new laws that have already taken effect in California. State legislators passed a bill which prohibits any insurance company in the state to charge more for a policy based on one’s gender.

This is good news for those young motorists on a tight budget. It’s projected that this new law will save male drivers between 16 and 19 years of age more than 5% annually. This can add up to saving hundreds each year. It will equalize premium costs more evenly between teen boys and girls.

California Has Followed the Lead of Other States

Several states preceded California is passing bans on pricing auto insurance premiums based on sex. California is the biggest state to do so, both in terms of population and teenage drivers. According to data from GoodtoGoInsurance.org, teenage drivers in California represent about 4% of all drivers. This is down slightly from 2007 when teens made up 5% of motorists in the Golden State. The other states that previously passed similar laws include: North Carolina, Montana, Pennsylvania, Hawaii, and Massachusetts.

Teen Drivers Are More Prone to Getting into Serious Accidents

Whether we like it or not, there is a direct correlation between age and risky driving. Of all motorists, in all age categories, teenage drivers pose the highest risk of getting into crashes. In fact, traffic fatalities are the leading cause of death between drivers aged 16 to 19. This includes both male and female drivers. This same age group has the highest rate of accidents per mile driven of any age group.

The real question is which teenage gender is riskier? It has long been thought that boys posed a higher risk. For decades, they’ve received more reckless driving tickets for activities like speeding and racing. However, over the past few years, young female motorists have become increasingly dangerous behind the wheel. Some states have even shown this age and gender group to be more dangerous than teen male drivers.

Why Are Young Female Drivers Getting into So Many Accidents?

California has the second highest teen vehicular fatalities in the country, only behind Texas. So why are young female drivers getting into so many wrecks? If you’ve ever been to a high school or mall lately, you probably already know the answer. Cellphone addiction is real and is killing young motorists. Approximately 12% of female drivers between 16 and 19 years old were killed as a result of a distracted driving event.

In past years, the data showed females were safer overall than males. Now, thanks to many females being addicted to their cell phones at all times, including behind the wheel, some new data reveals that they are more dangerous than the opposite sex. Stats show that females are
almost twice as likely to use a cellphone while driving, along with other electronics. They also fix themselves up while driving and engage in hair grooming, make-up application etc. Some even apply make-up with one hand and sends texts with the other. No wonder young girls are getting into so many accidents. They are the most distracted group of drivers on the planet.

Despite Laws Against It, Most Teens Still Use Their Cellphones While Driving

Despite nearly every state in the U.S. passing strict laws against cellphone use while driving, many teens are simply ignoring these laws. Even with tickets for cellphone use while driving as high as $500, most teens are too addicted to stop. They don’t think of the potentially disastrous consequences that happen all too often for taking your eyes of the road, even for just for a couple of seconds. Most know the risks but think they will never get into a serious wreck.

Insurers are Raising Rates on Teens

Distracted driving crashes among teens have been horrific and it’s causing insurance rates to spike. Insurers have no choice but to raise rates on teenage drivers as accident rates have gone up almost every year. Many teens pay more than double what a driver in their 40’s pays for the same coverage. Young drivers with multiple violations can pay as much as 300% more than the average rates in their respective state, or even get canceled by their insurer.

While California has taken steps to reduce auto insurance price discrimination against teenage male drivers, steps still need to be taken to reduce the serious issue of teen distracted driving. Young people need to put down their phones and drive safely, each and every time they get behind the wheel.



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