It is International Women’s Day today and French statistics agency Insee has taken the chance to remind people that women, in general, earn 23.8% less than men and get 26% less pension.
There is, however, one domain where they do better… car insurance. Insurers have long known that women are safer drivers than men and have rewarded them with lower premiums.
Now, simply cutting premiums for women has been ruled illegal as sexist but when insurers switched to giving women a no claims ‘bonus’ in the same way as men, they found hard evidence that women drivers are, indeed, safer and this earns them a significant cut in premiums – averaging €40 each.
Insurance comparison website LesFurets.com says women drivers take fewer risks, drive smoother, have fewer serious accidents and make fewer claims.
While just 32% of the people insured are women, the site says that 92% of drivers involved in alcohol-related fatal road accidents are men, that 83% of those sentenced for involuntary manslaughter on the road are men and that 91% of drivers tested positive for alcohol or drugs while driving are men.
This adds up to women have a lower risk rating and fewer accidents or claims on insurance – so, lower premiums.
Now, the old saw about women being worse drivers than men is, statistically, nonsense.
That means that, on average across France, insurance will cost a woman €579 as against the €620 paid by a man – although the actual cost varies widely; a Breton woman driver will pay an average of €474 while in Ile-de-France she pays €655 and €662 in Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur.
Being safer drivers and having fewer accidents does not, however, explain why women – even those with a full-time job – devote two hours more each day to domestic or parenting duties than men.