24/07/2024

Great Car

Greatness On The Road

Car Insurance For Women Only

Car Insurance For Women Only

You’ve probably seen the adverts on television for Sheilas’ Wheels car insurance, where three glamorous blonde women are sitting pretty in a bubblegum-pink car. These good-time girls are contrasted to a miserable group of Australian sheep station guys left out of this cheap women-only car insurance deal. Sisters are insuring it for themselves, the message is clear – they can get better deals. But is this female-friendly advertising just another marketing ploy or is their a real benefit for female motorists?

Most insurance companies recognise that women are cheaper to insure and their policy costs reflect this. Certainly this is the case until women reach middle age, according to research by the AA (based on quotes for men and women, driving a Ford Focus and living in Cambridgeshire). For young drivers, age 17, the insurance cost for a woman is £1,938.13 per annum, for men this figure rises by almost £1,000 to £2,906.25. At age 30, the cost for women is still over £40 cheaper at £367. By the age of 40 the saving falls to just over £7. For men and women of 50 years old, the cost for women is just 45 pence cheaper. And by the age of 60, men (for the first time) can enjoy a £7.30 advantage over their female counterparts when their insurance premium reaches £245.40.

The promise of cheaper deals is founded on the fact that, on average, women don’t have as many serious accidents and therefore should be less risky and less expensive drivers to insure.

There is also clear evidence that as regards appalling driving, men are way out in front. Annual statistics from the Home Office reveal that almost three quarters of speeding offences, 96% of dangerous driving offences and 85% of careless driving were committed by men.

Sheilas’ Wheels also markets the idea that car insurance can be tailored to women’s individual needs. It can provide £300 for handbag insurance for example, in addition to offering a counselling line after accidents and the promise of repair practices that are women-friendly. Those that ensure that cars can be available to be collected from garages in daylight or in time for a daily school run.

Pioneer of car insurance for women, Diamond (part of the Admiral group) believes that dedicated services for women form part of a wider social change. The majority of women now have a driving licence (61 per cent of women compared to just over four fifths of men) and insurance that is female friendly and /or exclusively for females is a question of independence which mirrors the rise in the number of single female households and women who own their own car.

Certainly, companies like Sheilas’ Wheels and Diamond are offer some of the cheapest deals in the marketplace but other, non-specialist companies disagree that gender- specific insurance gives the consumer much extra. They warn that these brands are just part of a clever advertising campaign. Sheilas’ Wheels, for instance isn’t even an Australian company but part of the HBOS group, which also includes esure, Halifax and Bank of Scotland.

It is true that it can be misleading to draw general conclusions about cheapness. Altering a few variables like occupation and age can reveal different results. Comparisons show that your postcode, for example, is far more significant than gender. Living in Liverpool can more than double the cost of your insurance whereas living in a rural, low-crime area such as Norfolk will bring the cost of your premiums right down.

The best advice is to check out exactly what is on offer from the insurers and see how it best meets your own individual requirements.