Home/Car Insurance Resources/Male vs Female: Car Insurance Rates in Canada

Male vs Female: Car Insurance Rates in Canada

It is common knowledge in Canada that male drivers, especially young male drivers pay higher insurance premiums than female drivers in their same age groups. Sex, age, and marital status are commonly used and approved variables that help insurance providers assess the risk factor for Canadian Drivers. A driver’s driving record alone is not sufficient enough to provide a clear picture of what the driver’s overall risk to the insurance company will be. 

Does Gender Affect Car Insurance?

Engagement Couple Romance

Yes, in most circumstances, especially in new young drivers, gender does affect car insurance. 

Is Car Insurance Higher For Males or Females?

Typically car insurance is higher for males than females, especially for new young drivers.

Why Is Car Insurance Higher For Males?

Statistics have proven that male drivers are more likely to be involved in automobile accidents than female drivers. 

Car Insurance Gender Discrimination Canada

Under the Canadian Human Rights Commission, the insurance industry is permitted to utilize age, sex, and marital status as a bona fide and reasonable risk assessment business practice in assisting the determination of premium rates. 

Historical Attempts to Eliminating Age, Sex and Marital Status From Rate Setting 

married

There have been several attempts to use alternative risk classification variables in the past. However, these alternative methods did not provide a reasonable solution in determining risk factors for auto insurance. Without the use of age, sex, and marital variables it would result in dislocation. As a result, insurance premiums would be much higher for everyone, and higher additional costs to insurance providers to conduct research and to implement a new system. Although some young male insurance premiums would be reduced, older males would result in a much higher premium of almost a 60% increase. The Yukon Territories attempted to eliminate age, sex, and marital status as determination factors and were not successful.  When new rating variables are introduced into the insurance determination system, it takes anywhere between 3 to 5 years to capture new measurable data statistics. Due to the complexity of adapting new variables in rate determination, most provinces in Canada still use the following variables to determine driver risk:

  • Driving history
  • Gender
  • Age
  • Vehicle use
  • Driver Training
  • Number of claims in the past 6 years
  • Number of years claim free
  • Driving history of all insured drivers
  • Number of other drivers
  • Marital status
  • Annual mileage

Always Be Honest With Your Insurance Provider

It is extremely important to always be honest with your insurance provider. The reason being, if something were to happen and you make a claim and your insurance provider finds out you were dishonest about something to obtain a lower rate, your policy may be deemed invalid and your claim would be denied. There was an actual case in Alberta, Canada where an individual went to great lengths to falsely change his gender to obtain lower insurance rates. He changed his gender from male to female on his driver’s license and his birth certificate in order to obtain much lower insurance rates. In an interview with the media, he admitted to misrepresentation in order to obtain lower insurance rates. Insurance providers can cancel anyone’s insurance policy when anyone is found to have misrepresented themselves or made false or fraudulent claims. Insurance providers have been given permission by regulators to use gender as a factor in rate determination. 

Zurich Insurance Company

Back in 1992, a legal battle between the Zurich Insurance Company and The Ontario Human Rights Commission, resulted in the Supreme Court of Canada ruling to allow age, gender, and marital status factors to be used as rating factors for auto insurance. In the 1980s the human rights complaint was filed against the Zurich Insurance Company by an insured individual by the name of Michael Bates. Bates alleged that it was against his human rights to be charged a higher insurance rate because he was a young, single driver and that other comparable classes of individuals paid lower insurance rates. The final result was the Supreme Court of Canada did not find Zurich guilty of discriminating against Michael Bates contrary to the Ontario Human Rights Code.

Statistics Pertaining to Age and Gender

statistics

Many insurance providers utilize statistical data obtained to determine risk factors pertaining to gender and age. The following is some of the 2020s statistical data pertaining to rate comparisons between men and women. 

Downtown Montreal

  • Males between the ages of 17 and 19 on average pay 16% more annually than females do
  • Males between the ages of 20 and 24 on average pay 14% more annually than females do
  • Males between the ages of 25 and 30 on average pay 19% more annually than females do
  • Males between the ages of 31 and 40 on average pay 14% more annually than females do
  • Males between the ages of 40 and 50 on average pay 11% more annually than females do
  • Males between the ages of 50 and 60 on average pay 11% more annually than females do

Downtown Toronto

  • Males between the ages of 17 and 19 on average pay 27% more annually than females do
  • Males between the ages of 20 and 24 on average pay 11% more annually than females do
  • Males between the ages of 25 and 30 on average pay 3% more annually than females do
  • Males between the ages of 31 and 40 on average pay 5% more annually than females do
  • Males and females after age 40 typically pay the same insurance rates

Downtown Calgary

  • Males between the ages of 17 and 19 on average pay 12% more annually than females do 
  • Males between the ages of 20 and 24 on average pay 2% more annually than females do
  • Males between the ages of 25 and 30 on average pay 2% more annually than females do
  • Males between the ages of 31 and 40 on average pay 3% more annually than females do
  • Males between the ages of 41 and 50 on average pay 5% more annually than females do
  • Males between the ages of 51 and 60 on average pay 4% more annually than females do

So you can see not only do age and gender factors are used in rate determination, but the geographic location also comes into play. 

Some Auto Insurance Statistics for Men

Across Canada, women pay about 5-15 percent less than men. In 2020, women paid an average of $141 per month, across the country, compared with $163 per month for men. The disparity was smaller in Ontario, but overall average premiums were much higher. Women paid $166 per month while men paid $171. While the dollar value remained about the same, the percentage difference was just 3 percent.

The accident death rate for men has been almost three times that of women. Statistics Canada reported in 2004 that men experienced 13 motor vehicle deaths per 100,000 Canadians, while women accounted for only 5 deaths per 100,000.

There are factors that these results may not reveal. For example, if one were to examine cab drivers only, most statistics might show a male bias, given that male taxi drivers vastly outnumber female drivers. Similarly, men may take the wheel more often than women in shared vehicles. Statistics based on a number of incidents per 100 km driven might provide a more accurate reflection of comparative safety between genders. However, if these exist, they are difficult to locate.

Leave A Comment

At RateLab, We Compare 30+ Leading Insurers at Once!