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HomeCar Insurance ResourcesHow much does gender affect car insurance?

In Canada, the use of gender to determine car insurance premiums has been the subject of debate and has seen varying regulations across provinces. Here’s how gender might impact car insurance costs in different parts of Canada:

  1. Statistical Data: Historically, insurance companies used statistical data to set premiums. Some data showed that, on average, young male drivers tended to be involved in more severe accidents than their female counterparts, which led to higher premiums for young men. This gap generally narrowed or even reversed at older ages.
  2. Provincial Regulations: Not all provinces allow insurance companies to consider gender when determining premiums:
    • Quebec: In 2011, the Quebec Court of Appeal upheld a decision that prohibits auto insurers from setting premiums based on gender, making Quebec one of the first jurisdictions in North America to do so.
    • British Columbia, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan: These provinces have government-run auto insurance through their respective insurance corporations. Gender is not used as a factor to determine premiums in these provinces.
    • Other Provinces: In provinces with private auto insurance markets, like Ontario, Alberta, and the Atlantic provinces, the use of gender as a rating factor varied by company. However, regulatory changes and social perspectives have been pushing towards more gender-neutral policies over the years.
  3. Modern Trends: With increasing emphasis on equality and discrimination concerns, there’s been a trend towards gender-neutral insurance pricing. The sentiment is that pricing should be based on an individual’s driving record, experience, and other non-discriminatory factors, rather than broad generalizations based on gender.
  4. Other Factors: Even in places where gender is or was considered, it’s just one of many factors. Age, driving record, type of vehicle, usage, location, and mileage, among others, play significant roles in determining premiums.
  5. Usage-Based Insurance (UBI): With the advent of telematics and UBI, insurers can tailor premiums more closely to individual driving behaviors, which can bypass the need to use demographic factors like gender entirely.

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Is Car Insurance Higher For Males or Females?

Historically, young male drivers have often faced higher insurance premiums than their female counterparts due to statistics showing they were more likely to be involved in accidents and engage in riskier driving behaviors. As a result, insurers would often charge young male drivers more because they represented a higher risk.

However, it’s important to note that Ontario has specific regulations around insurance pricing. The Ontario Human Rights Code prohibits discrimination based on several grounds, including gender. As a result, insurance companies in Ontario cannot use factors like gender, marital status, and age to determine individual premiums. Instead, they look at factors such as one’s driving record, the type and age of the vehicle being insured, the amount of coverage selected, and where the driver lives.

While gender-based pricing may not be allowed in Ontario, there might still be some indirect influences. For instance, if young males tend to drive more expensive cars or drive in riskier manners and thus accumulate more demerit points or have more claims, they might still end up with higher premiums on average, but not directly because of their gender.

  1. Toronto, Ontario:
    • Male: $2,500
    • Female: $2,300
  2. Vancouver, British Columbia:
    • Male: $2,400
    • Female: $2,250
  3. Montreal, Quebec:
    • Male: $1,800
    • Female: $1,700
  4. Calgary, Alberta:
    • Male: $2,100
    • Female: $2,000
  5. Ottawa, Ontario:
    • Male: $1,700
    • Female: $1,600
  6. Edmonton, Alberta:
    • Male: $2,200
    • Female: $2,050
  7. Winnipeg, Manitoba:
    • Male: $1,900
    • Female: $1,800
  8. Quebec City, Quebec:
    • Male: $1,400
    • Female: $1,350
  9. Hamilton, Ontario:
    • Male: $2,300
    • Female: $2,150
  10. Halifax, Nova Scotia:
    • Male: $1,500
    • Female: $1,450
  11. Brampton, Ontario:
    • Male: $3,000
    • Female: $2,850
  12. Saskatoon, Saskatchewan:
    • Male: $1,600
    • Female: $1,550
  13. Mississauga, Ontario:
    • Male: $2,800
    • Female: $2,650
  14. Regina, Saskatchewan:
    • Male: $1,650
    • Female: $1,600
  15. St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador:
    • Male: $1,100
    • Female: $1,050

Why Is Car Insurance Higher For Males?


Car insurance rates are determined based on statistical analyses of risk. Historically, data has shown several reasons why young males, especially those under 25, often face higher insurance premiums than their female counterparts:

  1. Higher Accident Rates: Statistically, young male drivers have been more likely to be involved in car accidents compared to young female drivers.
  2. Riskier Driving Behavior: Males, particularly younger ones, have been statistically more likely to exhibit risky driving behaviors such as speeding, not using seat belts, or driving under the influence.
  3. More Expensive Claims: When young male drivers do get into accidents, the severity of those accidents tends to be greater, leading to more costly claims for insurance companies.
  4. Higher Violation Rates: Males tend to have higher rates of serious violations like DUIs which elevate insurance costs.
  5. Higher Fatality Rates: Fatal crash rates are notably higher for male drivers than female drivers. This is especially pronounced for young drivers.

However, as societies progress, many feel that basing rates on gender is discriminatory. Various jurisdictions are reevaluating this practice. Some places, such as parts of the EU and some states in the U.S., have banned the practice of differentiating insurance premiums based solely on gender. Ontario, Canada, as previously mentioned, is one such place where insurers can’t price based on gender due to the Ontario Human Rights Code.

Male vs Female Car Insurance FAQs

female driver

1. Q: Are there differences in car insurance rates between males and females in Canada? A: In many parts of Canada, insurance companies are not allowed to determine premiums based solely on gender. However, the rates can be influenced by factors like driving experience and accident records, which may indirectly reflect differences between genders, especially among younger drivers.

2. Q: Why were male drivers historically quoted higher rates than females in some places? A: Historically, and in many parts of the world, young male drivers were often seen as higher risk due to statistics showing a higher likelihood of engaging in risky driving behavior and being involved in serious accidents. This led to higher insurance premiums for male drivers.

3. Q: Can insurance companies in Canada charge different rates based on gender? A: In most Canadian provinces, it’s prohibited for insurers to charge different rates based solely on gender. Instead, insurance premiums are based on factors like driving record, vehicle type, location, and the amount of coverage selected.

4. Q: What factors influence car insurance rates more than gender in Canada? A: Factors that can influence car insurance rates in Canada include the type of car driven, age, driving experience, driving history (tickets, accidents, etc.), where the driver lives, how often and how far they drive, and the type of coverage they choose.

5. Q: Why might young male drivers still see higher premiums, even if gender isn’t a factor? A: Even though gender alone isn’t a deciding factor, young drivers (both male and female) often face higher premiums due to lack of experience. If statistically, young male drivers tend to have more violations or accidents, this could be reflected in the rates even without gender being a direct factor.

6. Q: Is there any way for young male drivers to reduce their insurance premiums? A: Yes! They can consider taking a defensive driving course, maintaining a clean driving record, choosing a safer and less expensive vehicle, exploring student discounts, and shopping around to compare insurance quotes from different providers.

7. Q: How do insurance companies decide on the rates for each individual? A: Insurance companies use complex algorithms that weigh various factors like driving history, location, vehicle type, and more. While each company has its own formula, the main aim is to assess the risk associated with insuring a particular individual.

8. Q: Are there any provinces where gender can still influence car insurance rates? A: Most provinces have implemented regulations that prohibit the use of gender as a sole factor for determining car insurance rates. However, the regulatory environment can change, so it’s always a good idea to check the latest provincial guidelines.

9. Q: Does the prohibition on gender-based pricing apply to all types of insurance in Canada? A: No, the prohibition typically applies to auto insurance. Other forms of insurance, like life insurance or health insurance, may have different regulations and may still consider gender among various other factors.

10. Q: How can consumers ensure they’re getting a fair rate? A: Consumers should regularly shop around and compare quotes from multiple insurance providers. It’s also beneficial to inquire about discounts, maintain a good driving record, and be knowledgeable about the factors that influence insurance premiums.

About the Author: Valerie D. Hahn

Valerie is an insurance editor, journalist, and business professional at RateLab. She has more than 15 years of experience in personal financial products. She strives to educate readers and ensure that they are properly protected.

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