A man in Alberta, Canada wanted to buy a new car. He wanted a Chevrolet Cruze with all of the options. However, he couldn’t believe how high his insurance bill would go with his new car purchase.
In his early 20s, the man also had an accident and a ticket or two on his driving record that helped set a high insurance premium quote to the tune of $4,500 a year. He then asked his insurance company what the cost would be if he were a woman. He was told the cost would be $3,400. That’s when he decided to become a woman to save almost $1,100 a year. However, he didn’t have hormone treatments or surgery. He lied to the Canadian government and became a woman only on paper.
According to the Insurance Bureau of Canada or IBC, men under 25 are generally at higher risk of collision than women of the same age, which means their premiums are often higher.
The CBC News reports the man who they called David, says he learned he first had to change his gender on his birth certificate and driver’s license before he could have it changed on his insurance policy, to get the cheaper rate.
After doing some research, he realized he needed a doctor’s note to show the government he identifies as a woman, even though he doesn’t.
“It was pretty simple,” David said. “I just basically asked for it and told them that I identify as a woman, or I’d like to identify as a woman, and he wrote me the letter I wanted.”
He mailed all of his paperwork to the government and a few weeks later, he received his new birth certificate indicating he was a woman.
“I was quite shocked, but I was also relieved,” he said. “I felt like I beat the system. I felt like I won.”
So, with the new birth certificate as proof, he set about to change his driver’s license and the insurance policy on his car — all to save $91 a month.
“I’m a man, 100 percent. Legally, I’m a woman,” he admitted to CBC News. “I did it for cheaper car insurance.”
David told the television network he didn’t do it to point out how easy it was to change genders.
“I didn’t do it to criticize or ridicule transgender or LGBT rights,” he explained.
The IBC says gender is just one factor that insurers consider, along with the driver’s age, vehicle, driving record and location.
In 2011, the European Union’s highest court ruled the insurance industry’s long-standing practice of charging different rates for men and women “constitutes discrimination.” The European Court of Justice ordered the industry to remove gender consideration from auto, life, and medical insurance plans.
IBC spokesman Steve Kee reminds policyholders about the importance of telling your insurance company the truth. Because if you don’t, it could wind up costing you even more in the end.
“If you’re going to declare on any document, you need to be truthful,” he said. “If not, you’re making a fraudulent claim. This could impact you for any future insurance application that you make, or any other aspect of your life.”