STUDY: Why Do Gay Men Pay So Much More For Car Insurance?

A new survey suggests that gay men are as bad drivers as women are—but pay disproportionately higher insurance premiums for it.

The admittedly unscientific-sounding reports on some findings from the University of London

In the cases of spatial awareness and navigation, gay male brains seem to be wired like female brains. Studies have shown that both women and gays score poorly on tasks that require navigation or spatial awareness. Both groups rely heavily on local landmarks to navigate, which means they tend to become lost easier than heterosexual men.

Women and gay men also have similarly bad senses of spatial awareness, which is a key factor in safe driving. These groups are more likely to cause minor accidents than straight males, because they experience difficulty visualizing the space around themselves. This flaw comes into play during tasks like parallel parking, as gays are much more likely to cause minor fender benders than straight males.

So how much more do gay dudes pay for auto insurance? recently surveyed 500 men in New York City about their premiums:  The 300 straight guys they spoke to averaged $2,154 a year, while the 200 homo drivers paid $2,571.

Because they get into more high-speed and fatal accidents, straight men pay a higher premium than women.  But since insurance companies can’t inquire about sexual orientation, gay drivers—who are statistically less likely to cause such fatal accidents—have to pay the same higher rates as their breeder brothers.

“Gay male drivers bear the brunt of the burden of paying male auto insurance rates even though that while on the road, they tend to think more like females,” says CEO James Shaffer, “Yes, they certainly cause a lot of accidents, just like any other group out there. But the amount the pay for car insurance is quite unfair.”

And because gay men can’t get married in most states, a majority of them can’t take advantage of the lower rates straight men get when they wed. (“Statistics show that married people are safer drivers than unwed individuals,” reports the blog.)

So to review:

* Similar to women, gay men have poor spacial and navigation skills. This leads them to get into more fender-benders than straight men, which in turn raises their insurance rates

* Though they don’t take risks like straight -male drivers, homosexual men are penalized the same because insurance companies don’t categorize by orientation.

* Most gay men cannot get legally wed and therefore can’t take advantage of marriage discounts offered by insurers

Ugh, that’s it—we’re taking a cab.

Photo: Honda USA


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  • I get it too

    Is it just me or is the quoted article extremely offensive and bigoted? The study on which they base these wild generalizations was on 140 people, which included males and females, straight, gay, and lesbian (so presumably less than 40 actual gay guys). Anybody who knows the first thing about statistics will know that to draw these kinds of conclusions from a study on only 140 individuals is bullshit.

    Statements like the following are unacceptable and bigoted, CANNOT BE JUSTIFIED BY SUCH A SMALL STUDY, and we should lobby to remove them or rewrite the article.

    “Women and gay men have a lot of things in common, and their similarities don’t end in the bedroom.”

    “[gays and women] experience difficulty visualizing the space around themselves. This flaw ….”

    “both women and gays score poorly on tasks that require navigation or spatial awareness.”

  • Pygar

    @I get it too: no, bro, it’s not just you. This article is a piece of crap.

  • CHIP1218

    Also, gay men in NYC on average have more disposable income, thus more expensive cars, which cost more to insure. Another reason car insurance rates are more expensive is your insurance company might charge based on zip code or neighborhood. Those who live in areas with more singles might pay higher rates because of the other drivers in their neighborhood.

  • Bob

    I am offended by the term ‘homo drivers’. Being called a ‘homo’ is always offensive! Why didn’t you just call us ‘fag drivers’ while you were at it?

  • Tommy

    @I get it too: Totally agree. I think it’s a misconception and stereotype that gay men think or act like women. Just because you are attracted to guys doesn’t mean you stop being a guy yourself! Most gay men actually have more in common with straight men than they do women for better or worse. Most gay men are still very much men. We definitely have our macho side, although we like to think we are more evolved than our straight brothers, but most of the time we are just fooling ourselves!

  • Tommy

    And it also seems very strange to do a survey about auto insurance rates in NYC because most people in NYC don’t own cars or drive. Would make more sense to do a survey in a smaller less urban area where a greater percentage of people drive and own cars.

  • MikeE

    Well, I’m gay, and have an almost supernatural sense of direction. I never get lost, I always know which direction is north, even with absolutely no landmarks. It freaks my friends out.

  • Kev C

    * Similar to women, gay men have poor spacial and navigation skills. This leads them to get into more fender-benders than straight men, which in turn raises their insurance rates

    Such bullshit. Gay men are better dancers than most straight men. Dancing requires good spacial skills.


    Me too. I also used to be an aggressive driver, but I have never bumped a fender or had an accident. I slowed down because I was freaking my passengers out, but I’m an excellent driver with good spacial and navigational skills.

  • forrest

    First of all how would the insurance company even know that the person is gay???
    Its not like they have a questionnaire that asks very intimate or private details. At least I hope not.

    This article is a load of crap

  • Marie Cohn

    Gay men are also more likely to stop and ask someone for directions, too.

  • DenverBarbie

    Queerty, are you sure this study wasn’t meant for The Onion? Apart from being mind nimbingly homophobic and sexist, it is entirely inaccurate. Take this up with any insurance company, they will tell you nothing short of the complete opposite. That’s why women pay less, and at a younger age.
    There is no gay check box on insurance apps. From personal experience, gay male drivers are superior to straight male drivers, but that’s not a deciding factor in premium prices.

  • cam

    Easy. If you are legally married you get a discount on your insurance.

  • XAK

    I have to agree with MikeE, I have a great sense of direction, and as a former motorcycle rider, I’m always aware of traffic and surrounding vehicles. I also agree with the others, this report is pretty downright offensive.

  • DouggSeven

    You missed another reason. Bare chested men are allowed on billboards whereas bare chested women are not permitted. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen a Miata wrapped around a pole of a nearby A/E underwear ad.

  • Belize

    @Kev C: “Such bullshit. Gay men are better dancers than most straight men. Dancing requires good spacial skills.”

    So basically being gay also gives you good spatial skills. Wow. And here I was thinking that it’s all about wanting to have sex with men. More importantly, I didn’t know that you have the power to know how many dancers there are in the world and which among them are gay and straight. We’re so lucky to have people like you. ;)

  • DB

    It is absolutely untrue that gay mean think or navigate like women. Every actual scientific study (unlike the ridiculous hacks quoted in this post) has shown that gay men think like heterosexual men in terms of spatial reasoning and navigating by using cardinal directions and maps rather than using landmarks, etc. Also, in addition to the invalid premise based on an old 1920’s anti-gay stereotype (that gay men are somehow less masculine and think or act different than heterosexual men), there are also other inaccuracies. Women pay much less than men in car insurance. If gay men pay more, then it shows that gay men drive like men and not like women.

  • Kev C

    @Belize: It’s called gaydar. A type of inbuilt navigation system that gays have.

  • Spike

    So what does that say about gay asian drivers? Get out of the way?

  • lubbockgaymale

    Here in Texas they use the excuse that unmarried men have higher accident rates than married men or women, regardless of age or health! Of course as long as we can’t marry, the insurers make a lot more moola off of us. A 80 yr old married gentleman I know got his drivers’ license renewed even tho he failed the vision test from Macular Degeneration…. the tester said, ‘well, you’ve had no accidents lately, so I’ll pass you’!

  • FreddyMertz

    I’m not sure about this study….I’ve never been asked my sexual identity when I’ve gotten insurance….just whether I was single or married.

  • [email protected]

    Around here most of the people who drive the ‘muscle cars’, weave in and out of traffic, and are texting while driving are women. A few days ago, a woman pulled up beside me, while putting on her make-up, with a cell phone to one ear, and constantly turning around to talk to her kids. Women may be multi-taskers, but please not while you are driving!

  • Bipolar Bear

    The spatial awareness thing is just one component of some of the scientific findings that have differentiated gay men from straight men – there’s other studies that look at finger size, how many brothers you have etc. The findings can’t be generalised to all gay men, however.

  • Randall Reynolds

    I’m gay and very spatially aware… Also a good driver. This “study” is stupid.

  • Rob

    I call bullshit. I’ve never had a problem parallel parking, doing a three-point-turn, backing up into a driveway or driving safely. Now, my Mom on the other, well that’s a different story altogether….

    I think people just need to get off their damn iPhones and stop playing with every electronic device known to man. Hands on the wheel people!

  • SeaChas

    A very stupid study probably cynically published to advertise the insurance company. Like there are no gay male or straight female truck drivers, physicists, architects, etc. Whatever. I’m a gay male, and my period is more than 40 years late, so that’s something else I don’t have in common with women . . . but this article did give me cramps, though.

  • Coffee&Chicory

    spacial awareness? really? then please explain why SO many architects and designers are gay…

  • Rusk

    I looked at the picture and thought this was an article of why gay men drive Honda Accords. I was curious because I drive one :)

  • Mark

    I call bullshit

  • Jim DeBlasio

    I always mark “widdowed” rather than single even though my male partner, who died over ten years ago, and I were not legally married. Maybe that’s why I get low rates, in addition to having no tickets or accidents since the Reagan administration.

  • Anth

    Some companies will give you the marriage discount if you ask for it. I have Travelers and they will give discounted rates for domestic partners.

  • rutgers1017

    what a stupid article.

  • JayUVA

    Personally, I detest when an address is given as ‘third house on the left with a white car in the driveway’ – no, tell me the numbers on the front of the house. Grrr.. LoL

  • kimquotes

    This is a simple and plain offensive!!! It is being pessimistic! Yes, in insurance company there is the difference rate between the men and women. Men have the higher rate than the women as well know that women are more careful with their driving. Gay are like as women, so they’re more possible in the regular basis. Thinking of affordable car insurance quote .

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