Car insurance

Is car insurance cheaper for women?

Women’s car insurance used to be cheaper, but is it still the case in Ireland? Discover what affects the price of cover and ways to make car insurance cheaper whatever your gender.

Do women pay less for cover?

Women drivers in the past paid less for their car insurance because, statistically, they are safer drivers.

Insurance companies base premiums on risk, which is why female car insurance quotes used to be cheaper and insurers either sold female cover as a separate product or specialised in women-only car insurance.

Now, you no longer pay more or less because of your gender, but there are other factors that affect the price of your policy.

When did the rules change?

Legislation changed in 2012 so insurers in the EU are no longer allowed to set insurance prices based on sex because it contravenes gender equality law.

As a result, gender-neutral pricing was introduced for insurance products. This means that insurance companies must assess male and female drivers in the same way and base premium prices on risk factors rather than gender.

So, what does affect the price of cover?

Insurers set the price of your car insurance quote by weighing up lots of factors and working out how risky you are based on the information you provide and your driving history.

Alongside personal information and driving experience, insurers assess risk by the type of car you drive and what you use it for.

Factors used to calculate your quote

  • YOUR AGE The younger you are, the greater the risk of having an accident so insurers will charge higher rates for young drivers under 25. If you’re an older driver over 65, you may also find your insurance premiums creeping up, regardless of your driving history.

  • WHERE YOU LIVE Location is one of the key factors. Urban areas are seen as higher risk than rural areas and if you live in a high crime area you’ll pay more. Insurers will also assess an area for traffic accidents and claim rates so keep your car safe when parked.

  • WHAT YOU DO Your job affects the price you pay for premiums, especially if you use your vehicle for work. A job that’s high risk or involves lots of driving will mean you’ll pay more for your premiums.

  • YOUR DRIVING EXPERIENCE The longer you’re behind the wheel, the cheaper your premiums get, especially if you have a clean driving record and no criminal offences. Points on your driving licence will push up your premiums and make it harder to find cover.

  • YOUR ANNUAL MILEAGE The further you drive, the greater the chance of accidents or breakdowns so insurers will view you as a bigger risk. Conversely, if you work locally or only drive on weekends, you’ll be assessed as lower risk and premiums will reduce.

  • YOUR CLAIMS HISTORY Once you’ve made a claim on your policy you could pay up to 40% more at renewal if you’re found liable for accident costs or make multiple claims in one year. You’ll also lose your no claims bonus if you have one.

  • THE COVER LEVEL You can choose from Third Party, Comprehensive or Third Party Fire and Theft cover. The more comprehensive your cover, the higher the price but it’s important to get the right cover for your driving habits, so don’t just opt for the cheapest level.

  • HOW YOU PAY Most insurers give you the option to pay annually or in monthly instalments. If you pay a monthly premium you’ll pay extra due to interest charges. It’s cheaper to pay upfront, but with the average annual premium over €600, this isn’t always possible.

  • THE EXCESS PAID Insurers charge a compulsory excess you must pay towards a claim. In addition to this, a voluntary excess is the extra amount you agree to pay if you make a claim. You can get a cheaper quote if you pay a higher amount of voluntary excess.

  • CAR INSURANCE GROUP This system categorises cars into groups according to risk profile. Some insurers use this to assess which cars will likely generate the most costly insurance claims. Every make and model of car is assigned to one of 50 insurance groups.

Tips for cheaper car insurance quotes

Whether you’re a male or female driver, you’ll want to keep costs down and find the cheapest insurance.

Here’s some tips for reducing the cost of your cover:

  • Downsize your car: Small, newer cars in a low insurance group are the cheapest to insure. Powerful, high-performance cars with big engines are the most expensive. If you haven’t bought your car yet, it’s worth seeking out cars in low insurance groups before you buy.
  • Reduce your risk profile: Although you can’t change your age, job or location, you can prove you’re a safe driver by taking an advanced driving course or having a black box installed. Keep your car in a safe place at work and overnight and don’t claim unless you have to.
  • Increase your excess: Opt to pay a higher excess if things go wrong and your premium will be cheaper. This is worth considering if you only drive short distances and your risk of accidents or damage is low.
  • Look for online discounts: Usually offered if you pick family or multi-car insurance or have a black box fitted. If you haven’t claimed for a while, you’ll qualify for a no claims bonus which can earn you up to 75% off your premium.

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