New California Transgender Driver’s Licenses Force Young Women to Subsidize Young Men

California’s new law providing for “non-binary” genders on the state’s driver’s licenses reportedly have the unintended consequence of requiring young women to subsidize teenage boys by paying higher auto insurance rates.

The law — signed by then-Gov. Jerry Brown in 2017 to meet transgender needs — allows California drivers to mark their gender as “X” instead of male or female.

After the law’s passage, Dan Morain notes at the CALmatters blog, the state’s insurance commissioners barred “the use of gender in automobile insurance rating,” which typically favors women, who are lower-risk drivers than men, at least younger men. Six other states have similar regulations.

Morain reports:

Rex Frazier, president of the Personal Insurance Federation of California, which represents several major auto insurance companies, said insurers were blindsided by Jones’ justification for the regulation, pointing out that none of the 10 legislative analyses of the Atkins bill made any mention of the bill’s impact on insurance rates.

“It is commonly understood that teenage male drivers are generally a higher risk than teenage female drivers,” Frazier said in a letter to the Department of Insurance. “Eliminating gender rating would require female teenage drivers to subsidize teenage male drivers.”

Frazier said the gender of teen drivers can result in an additional cost for boys or discount for girls of about 6 percent on their premiums. Drivers who list their gender as nonbinary probably would have been given a lower cost than boys, he said, though under the new rule, gender cannot be taken into account.

CALmatters reports that the insurance industry is lobbying for a reversal to the regulation. The state’s Democrats are adamant that because gender is not a choice, no one should have to pay higher or lower rates as a result.

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