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Why women can still get lower priced motor insurance

Female? Looking for really cheap car insurance? The very lowest premiums can still be found by women, young or over 50, who know how to look for them.

Thanks to the EU rules on insurance prices it is now illegal for insurers to base premiums on a driver's sex. It is not illegal, however, to base it on that motorist's occupation. So, the more women there are in a particular job, the lower a quote is likely to be. This is justifiable; people in occupations such as nursing, teaching, human resources etc have, statistically, lower risks of being involved in motor accidents than those in the building industry, heavy engineering, the military etc, whether they are male or female. There is an interesting article here from the Daily Telegraph on how insurers use job descriptions to provide cheap car insurance for female drivers.

We cannot suggest that you claim to have an occupation that is different from your real one; giving any false information could lead to all kinds of problems including cancellation of your policy or a refusal to pay out on a claim. However, most of us have a job which could be described in several ways; picking the more feminine description may help. Check this Daily Telegraph article and then see our study results on how your job description can affect your quote.

Is insurance dearer for female drivers now?

Not necessarily. It is a fallacy that in the past all lady motorists enjoyed lower premiums anyway. It is certainly true that a young woman usually had more competitive quotes than a young man, all other things being equal, and that was because younger men have, overall, a poor accident record. Between the ages of about 25 and 55 premiums tended to cost pretty much the same. Female motorists over 60, however, actually paid more on average than their male counterparts. What is the situation now? Check here to see how age affects the difference between quotes for females and males


Didn't the EU Gender Directive force up premiums for young females?

That was the theory. The EU judges, who of course know more about insurance than UK insurance companies with hundreds of years of statistics to fall back on, decreed that those calculating premiums for young people couldn't take gender into consideration, despite it being obvious that the girls have far fewer accidents than the boys, on average. It was felt that this would force premiums up for the ladies, and down for the testosterone fuelled males. Younger ladies, however, still do seem to pay less for their policies than younger men. How? Check our study results into why young women get insurance bargains!

Do women-only insurers provide a better deal?

Only very rarely. The fact that you are a woman is only one factor that an insurer considers when calculating your premium. Your postcode, for instance, can be far more relevant. So can the type of vehicle you drive, where you park it during the day, and how safe it is likely to be overnight. Whether or not you have a part-time job, and what it is, will be taken into account, as well as whether or not you are in a stable relationship, and own your home. How much driving experience you have had, and any record you have of claims or accidents, will be very important. Your age can have a considerable bearing (see these figures at the Association of British Insurers). These and many other factors will affect your premium so an insurer that concentrates on one factor only - your sex - is very unlikely to find you the best policy.

Every insurer, however, looks at these issues in a different way. This is why it is important to get multiple quotations if you are looking for the best possible value for money.

Why leave your current insurance provider?

Women tend to stay with the same insurer year after year. Unfortunately some (most?) insurance companies take advantage of this by increasing premiums annually. Since very few of them used to tell you what the previous year's premium was, they usually got away with it. Conversely, a lot of companies will offer you a sizeable discount for switching to them. It can come as a great shock to see how much you could save by taking your business elsewhere (believe me, I've done it!) so using a reputable price comparison service can often lead to very considerable savings. Do bear in mind that any special offers from your new insurer will probably revert to their full price next year, but you can always go elsewhere again (perhaps, like me, even back to your old company; as a 'new customer' you may well qualify for a cut price offer!).

Beware the cut price company

Motor insurers are there to make money and the company with the keenest prices may well have hidden extras that they can hit you with. Penalties for not sending your proof of no-claims bonus quickly enough, high charges for changing any policy details and huge cancellation fees are just a few of the common tricks. You need to read through all the documentation carefully before committing yourself, and if the insurer is one you have not heard of it can pay to go to Google and type in the company name plus 'reviews'. Sometimes what you discover is not very nice. Can you contact them easily? Have they a good record of paying out on claims? Are they well established with many satisfied customers? Often it is better to deal with a well known company than a relatively unknown one with a slightly smaller quote.

Use your female intuition

Possibly because women are usually better than men at balancing budgets we tend to be more careful about what we spend; looking not only for the lowest prices but the best quality and value for money, too. A few minutes spent on a good price comparison engine could offer you a lot more choices, and help to keep you ahead of the game.

A few more thoughts

Consider fitting a dashcam; you can pick them up for little money  from Amazon or Halfords. Again, I've done this myself. After a slight bump I presented the other driver with a copy of my video and he paid up out of his own pocket without any argument. Insurers like them and they could save you a lot of money if you had a bump which was not your fault.

Think about whether or not you should claim for minor bumps. Strictly speaking you should inform your insurance company but, if you do, your premium is likely to rise next year, even if you were not at fault or didn't even make a claim.

Don't rely on the 'protected no claims bonus' lark. What they don't tell you is that although the NCB should stay the same after an accident, the basic premium itself will rise, perhaps substantially. The result; you'll still end up paying more.

Get a price comparison, look at the premiums and benefits and if a quote looks too good to be true, it probably is. Remember that a well known company has a lot more to lose by providing a shoddy service than one that you've never heard of.

Finally, you deserve cheaper car insurance, whether you are a young woman, or even a lady over 50.

To read about other women's experiences of buying car insurance please click here!

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