Diamond

The sexes still battle it out on the roads

29/04/2002

It's often well publicised that women are safer drivers than men, but does safer actually mean better? It's the source of great debate and everyone has an opinion. So what is the truth behind the battle of the sexes?

Diamond, a direct motor insurer specialising in car insurance for women, has researched the claims differences between men and women.

Statistically women only have slightly less accidents than men, but it's the nature of the accident which is very different. On average, insurance companies have to pay out more for a claim from a male driver than for one from a female driver. Diamond looked into claims costs during 2000 and 2001, and found the average claims cost for men was £1,916, while for women the average cost was £1,546.

While it's true that women are 20% more likely than men to reverse into another car or 21% more likely to have a collision in a car park, however the cost of repairing these bumps is far lower than when a car has been extensively repaired or even written off.

Men tend to have accidents which cost more. Men are convicted of 92% of driving offences and 98% of all convictions for dangerous driving. They are 17% more likely than women to have a head-on collision and 50% more likely to hit a pedestrian on a pavement. As a result an accident involving male drivers will generally be more serious, and more likely to involve a personal injury, which causes the cost of the claim to rise even further.

Sian Lewis, managing director at Diamond, said, "Our research shows that men drive faster, more aggressively and have more expensive claims than women, which is not good news for insurers. This is why women are seen as better drivers and often pay less for their car insurance. However, the question of whether women or men are better drivers has been a source of long-running controversy, and I suspect it will continue to be so for a long time to come."

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