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Wednesday, April 9, 2014 - 11:24pm
NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Did you know that taking 15 minutes to get married could save you at least 15% on your car insurance?
According to a report from insuranceQuotes.com, a 20-year old married woman pays an average of 22% less for car insurance than her single counterpart. And a married 20-year-old man pays 20% less than his single friend of the same age.
Your gender and age also significantly affect how much you pay, the report found.
As people mature, gain experience and take on more responsibilities, they become safer drivers, Mike Barry, a spokesman for the Insurance Information Institute, says.
Age is the biggest factor. At age 20, a single male driver will pay 49% more than a single man who is 25, insuranceQuote.com's report found. An unmarried woman will pay 39% more at age 20 than at age 25.
The lowest premiums are charged to drivers at age 60. After that, premiums start to creep up again. By the time a single man is 75, for example, he's paying 20% more than a single man at age 60.
Gender discounts are not as large, but insurers do charge women much less than men during the first years they're on the road.
A 20-year-old woman pays 19% less than a man the same age. By the time they're both 25, the gender difference drops to 4% and narrows through age 30. After that, men pay slightly lower premiums.
"Insurers price their policies to reflect the claims risk," said Barry. "They look at claims filings and arrive at conclusions as to who is likely to file more -- and more expensive -- claims."
Shopping around can help cut costs, according to Adams.
"In addition to regularly comparing at least three quotes from different insurers, consumers should review potential discounts with their current insurer," she said. "This is even more important for younger drivers because they tend to pay the highest rates."
Students who carry a "B" average or better may qualify for discounts of up to 20%, depending on their carrier, she said. They can also reduce their premiums by raising the deductible they pay.
An additional discount may be available via "pay as you drive" programs, said Adams. These use hardware that transmits to insurers information about your driving habits. That can include how much you drive, how fast, and how hard you brake or take turns.
InsuranceQuotes.com and Quadrant Information Services calculated the impacts of gender, age and marital status on car insurance premiums using data from the largest carriers in each U.S. state and the District of Columbia. It noted that Hawaii is the only state that doesn't allow insurers to set rates based on age or gender.