X

He Wanted a New Car. Insurance Was Steep. He Had a Plan.

Canadian driver applied for gender status change on paperwork to cut his premium rates
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 27, 2018 11:10 AM CDT
Creative, but possibly illegal.   (Getty Images/dobok)

(Newser) – "I'm a man, 100%. Legally, I'm a woman," a Canadian man boasts to the CBC in explaining how he "beat the system" to save $900 a year on his car insurance. How "David" of Alberta (who requested anonymity) did it: He got a doctor's note saying he identifies as a woman and arranged for a gender change on his birth certificate and driver's license. That status change allowed him to modify his gender to "female" on his auto insurance policy for lower premium payments. (The National Post notes that David also put up a disclaimer on Reddit saying he has "gender dysphoria," though it suggests he may have done so for legal cover.) The move worked because in Canada, men under 25 are seen as a higher collision risk and charged higher premiums. In David's case, that meant as a man he'd pay $3,500 annually on his Chevy Cruze; as a woman, $2,600.

"I was pretty angry about that," says David, who the CBC notes is in his early 20s and has one car crash and a couple of tickets to his name. "And I didn't feel like getting screwed over any more." It's now even easier for someone to do what David did, as the need for a doctor's note for a paperwork gender change has since been eliminated for adults in Canada. The insurance industry might find a claim like David's to be fraudulent, and the transgender community isn't thrilled with his stunt. David, however, says he simply wanted to show how unfair the system is and to save money, not to "ridicule transgender or LGBT rights." The EU's highest court, meanwhile, ruled in 2011 that gender as a factor in determining premium rates is "discrimination"—a view David shares. "I now pay ... less for auto-insurance," he crows on Reddit. "I won. The end." (Car insurers tend to favor the rich.)

My Take on This Story
Show results without voting  |  
26%
7%
4%
32%
1%
30%