You've probably heard the rumor that women get charged less for car insurance. Well, it's true. According to Esurance, women drive less than men, have fewer accidents and DUIs, and take fewer risks while driving, statistically speaking. The FBI reported over three times the number of men with DUIs than women, so I can't even argue! A Yahoo! article quotes Loretta Worters, a vice president with the Insurance Information Institute, as saying:
Years ago, women would be in the passenger seat or at home as the men drove to work. In 1963, 40 million motorists in the U.S. were women, accounting for 43 percent of drivers. Today, more than 88 million women are licensed drivers, almost half of all motorists in the U.S.
So, hey, I guess we can capitalize on sexism just a little bit, eh?
I do love this little passage from the Esurance webpage: "If you're a guy, all this really means is that a female clone of yourself would likely pay less for car insurance." I can confidently confirm this statement as 100-percent true, because it happened to me when I changed my gender. Also, I have a written email to prove it.
Back in 2012 I legally changed my name from a traditionally male name to a traditionally female name. No andro labels for me, sorry. I followed up with my various accounts -- bank, school, work, and, of course, auto insurance -- to get them to change their files. I won't say which car insurance company I'm with, to protect my agent, myself, and the company, but anyway, I communicate with my agent via email, so I sent him my account number, my old name, my new name, and an attached name-change form. He went ahead and updated the account, including my listed gender. I received the following email:
Thanks for your email and update. I have processed the change on the auto policy in our office. If the company asks for any information I will let you know but I don't think we will need anything at this point.
By the way...the auto policy rates went down $52.40 per 6 months for the same coverage. The system gave me a projected prorated refund of $9.38 from now till the renewal on 9-2-2012. Those funds would be deposited back into your bank account that is on file in about a week or so.
It had been a few months since I'd looked at my policy, and my boyfriend had had an accident in my car, so I was honestly surprised that my rate was lower than before. I replied that I'd forgotten to mention that my driver's license also says "F" now instead of "M," so I wanted to know if my policy should reflect that as well. I even added, "Don't girls pay less, haha?" His reply:
Yes...I changed that record on both policies and that is why the auto was $52.40 lower for 6 months. You're all set now!
I was dumbfounded. I'd never expected this to happen, and I just started laughing and bragging to my parents about how I'd saved money by changing genders (something like "HA HA! Joke's on you, CIS PEOPLE! Hahahaha!"). I guess you could say that this was the first of several new privileges associated with being a woman.
Exposing the Sexism
I am a unique trans woman. Most trans women will say that they were always a girl in their heart and/or mind, and that they were just born in the wrong body. I don't necessarily believe that about myself. I feel that my soul is definitely feminine, but I never felt like I was trapped in the wrong body. I felt like I was living the wrong life. Basically, just as someone can hate their job or career and change it to something that fits them better, I hated my gender and changed it to something that fits me better. However, the fact that I do feel like I used to be a man and am now a woman is enlightening, because I had a male perspective, and now I have a female perspective. Unlike many trans women, I didn't always have a female perspective, so I feel like I can analyze sexism pretty well.
This insurance adjustment was just the first of many changes in how people treat me. Now I open doors for myself maybe two thirds of the time as opposed to three thirds of the time. People sort of assume that I'm fragile and don't touch me nearly as much. As a guy, I had girls hugging me or cuddling on me, and guys would punch me playfully or pat my back. Now nothing. I think people are afraid of being accused of sexual harassment (which is not something I'd do, so touch away). Also, I honestly lost the strength to open jars! Recently I had to get my guy roommate to open a jar for me. Professionally, I get to wear more comfortable clothes and have men trying to impress me in professional settings, and I usually get favors from bankers, clerks, etc., because I am seen as less threatening. I am basing this on personal experience with the people in my city, as well as on generalized stereotypes and standardized statistics. In any case, I heard on the radio that white women are the most privileged class in my city, and I would agree. So there's that.
I feel like this whole insurance situation is just one aspect of a huge system of gender differences. I could go into a huge rant about categorization, but I will save that for another day. All I can say is that since I changed my gender from male to female, I've felt spoiled. It's hard to really explain why I feel this way with hard evidence and examples, but I remember life being harder when I was male. I think there's a good reason that my life feels easier now. Maybe it's because I feel realer in my new life, or maybe it's because women are treated better (or at least like delicate flowers), but it's likely a very intriguing combination of both.
The moral of the story: I saved a bunch of money on my car insurance by switching my gender.
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