Car Insurance for Trans and Non-Binary Individuals
When it comes to applying for car insurance, the process is pretty simple.
However, for transgender or nonbinary drivers, the application process can sometimes be a few more steps.
That’s because most car insurance providers ask for an applicant’s gender during the quote process. But gender identity is complex and fluid for many. As a result, this particular question can be much more challenging for those who do not fit into traditional gender norms.
The good news is that many states and some companies are beginning to recognize this, and some even offer a nonbinary option as a gender choice.
If you’re unsure about how a nonbinary identity might affect your car insurance, we’re here to help. Stay with us as we take a look at how to navigate the process with ease.
How Gender Complicates Insurance Applications
Many insurance providers use the term “gender” to refer to the sex a person was assigned at birth, which means applicants are only given two choices—male or female. Sex and gender are often used as synonyms, but sex refers to biological traits, while gender refers to how a person identifies within society. This mismatch is problematic for transgender and non-binary people, whose gender identity differs from their biological sex.
As a result, forcing a person to choose between their authentic gender identity and the sex they were assigned at birth may amount to transgender discrimination. So why does gender matter to car insurance companies, anyway?
Car insurance rates are based on many different factors, from your age and where you live to the make and model of your car. For example, younger drivers with less experience are considered higher risk. City drivers typically pay higher rates than those in smaller towns or rural areas, since urban areas have higher rates of accidents and auto theft. Insurers also use sex assigned at birth to determine a driver’s risk level. That’s because people who are assigned male at birth (AMAB) tend to be riskier drivers than people assigned female at birth (AFAB).
States That Provide a Nonbinary Option for Your Driver’s License
The good news is that, as a more nuanced understanding of gender identity is becoming the standard, more states are changing the way insurance companies factor gender into premiums.
Many providers have added a nonbinary gender option—an “X” in addition to “M” and “F”—to car insurance applications to help better tailor to an individual’s preferred gender. Plus, they do not require any kind of certification to update your gender.
The states listed below mandate car insurance companies to either provide non-binary and transgender options on applications or discount gender as a rating factor.
- Colorado (not including minors)
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- Rhode Island
- Washington, D.C.
Some remaining states are joining the charge. Michigan doesn’t offer a gender-neutral option yet, but the state doesn’t require certification to update your gender. Illinois has also announced that it will offer an “X” option, which will become available by 2024.
Meanwhile, other states have taken the equal-opportunity policies a step further. Oregon now requires car insurance companies to provide rates specifically for their customers who select the X gender marker identity. California has banned gender-based car insurance rating altogether.
If you live in a state outside of the ones mentioned above, or if you’d like more options, you can use the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equity Index tool to find a provider that will offer transgender, non-binary, or gender nonconforming alternatives.
How to Change Gender on a Driver’s License
When it comes to choosing a car insurance policy, there are a few things to consider, including ample coverage and affordable rates. If you identify as transgender or non-binary, you’ll also want to choose a policy that reflects your gender—and updating your license could be the first step in this process.
If you choose to change your gender on your official records, you’ll need to follow the guidelines of your state. The National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) provides a convenient tool that will walk you through the process of updating your gender on numerous documents, including your driver’s license, in your state. NCTE also ranks each state by how easy the process is for trans and non-binary applicants. Almost half of all states get an “A” letter grade, as many are based on recent legislation.
If you need additional assistance with a legal name change, the Name Change Project helps low-income transgender and non-binary people with this process.
Will My Rates Increase if I Change My Gender From Female to Male?
In states that allow insurance rates to be based on a person’s sex assigned at birth, AMAB individuals typically pay higher rates than AFAB individuals. Therefore, if you’re planning to change the gender on your driver’s license from female to male, you may be worried about paying more for coverage. However, the amount you’ll owe depends on your state and insurance company. Changing your gender on your insurance application may impact your rates, but that’s not always the case. Because each provider uses a unique formula to determine car insurance rates, you’ll need a quote to calculate your monthly rate. On average, men across all age groups pay $62 more annually than women. You can also directly contact your insurer and inquire about its policies.
The good news is that other factors, such as your driving history and annual mileage, influence your rate more heavily than your gender. Plus, there are plenty of discounts and ways to drop the price of your premium, even if you’re a teen or high-risk driver.
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