An Alberta man – motivated to pay lower car insurance rates – legally changed his gender to that of a woman.
“I have taken advantage of a loophole,” the man identified only as “David” told CBC News.
An insurance company initially gave David (who was 23 at the time of the application) a car insurance quote for $4,500 a year, if he bought a Chevy. His premiums were high due to a collision and a couple of tickets on his record.
Suddenly, David had an idea – he asked his insurer how much his insurance premium would cost if he were a woman; he was told his annual bill would cost $1,100 less.
“I was pretty angry about that. And I didn’t feel like getting screwed over any more,” he said. “So, I asked them to change my gender on my auto policy, and she’s like, we can’t do that.”
According to the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC), men under 25 are typically at higher risk of collision than women of the same age – which means men often pay higher premiums.
David learned that before he can see the lower rates enjoyed by women drivers, he would have to change his gender on his birth certificate and driver’s license.
“It was pretty simple,” he explained. “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.”
At that time, Albertans had to produce a doctor’s note requesting to switch the gender marker on their personal documents (but in June, the government scrapped this requirement).
A few weeks after David sent the note and other paperwork to the provincial government, he received a new birth certificate that indicated 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.”
Thanks to the new birth certificate, he changed his driver’s license and got his approximately $3,400 a year insurance premium.
“I’m a man, 100%. Legally, I’m a woman,” he remarked. “I did it for cheaper car insurance.”
IBC spokesman Steve Kee warned that changing gender could constitute fraud.
“If you’re going to declare on any document, you need to be truthful,” Kee 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.”